Inspirational Rufus is a real Little Trooper
For any four-year-old, being separated from one parent who is on frontline duties is not easy but being without both parents is doubly difficult.
But brave Rufus Morris has been lighting up lives and painting rainbows to show support for key workers including his mum Caroline Patterson, a consultant respiratory and lung transplant physician at Royal Papworth Hospital, while his dad is serving in Afghanistan with the RAF Regiment.
His bravery and resilience during the coronavirus pandemic has earned Rufus, from Great Shelford, the title of Little Trooper of the Month. The national award is presented by Little Troopers, a registered charity supporting children who have a parent serving in the armed forces.
Rufus’s dad was due to come home in March but his return date has been pushed back indefinitely. When his mum is working shifts on intensive care looking after Covid-19 patients, Rufus has been staying with his grandma.
Caroline said: “Rufus has been very brave about being separated from both of his parents and has been busy painting rainbows to display in support of all our key workers. He is very proud of us but we are even more proud of him. He is truly our light in this horrid time.
“He is thrilled to be named Little Trooper of the Month, even more so as we have been using the Little Troopers separation packs to help him understand and deal with his dad’s ongoing deployment.”
From thousands of miles away, her husband said: “I’ve been amazed by Rufus whilst I’ve been away. He’s coped amazingly. He’s got very artistic in my absence, and when I get home I’ll have to compete with his new bike for attention.
“He’s been an absolute star, never thrown a tantrum or made things difficult for Caroline or her mum, and I couldn’t be prouder of him. Perhaps he’ll be a real Trooper one day!”
Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, added: “We’ve heard from lots of military families impacted by the pandemic in some way, from deployment return dates being cancelled to personnel being called away from home to work as part of the Covid taskforce.
“We had many worthy nominations for this month’s award, but we felt that having two parents working away from home to serve our country was an exceptional circumstance that must be incredibly difficult. Rufus is a real inspiration to all our Little Troopers out there.”
Rufus will receive a medal, certificate and special prize as part of his award. The charity runs a number of initiatives including an app enabling military parents to record themselves reading stories to their children while they are away, the Little Troopers separation pack and primary school resources including a dedicated wellbeing course. For more information, visit littletroopers.net.