WATCH: Actor's heartfelt poem on grandad's dementia goes viral
A Black Country actor's film about her grandfather has amassed more than 10,000 views online.
Rebecca Fuller, 23, of Dudley, filmed herself reading her own poem to mark what would have been Walter Hickling’s 96th birthday.
In the clip, Rebecca addresses her grandfather's dementia to raise awareness of the illness.
Walter was a war hero who, having lied about his age to join the army in the Second World War, lost a leg after being blown up by an improvised explosive device.
Despite this he held down a variety of jobs after the war, including working as a steel buyer and furniture salesman.
He also devoted much of his spare time to charitable causes and for a while was a local president of the St John Ambulance.
Much-respected in the community, he was instrumental in raising awareness of – and funding for – a war memorial in Dudley town centre.
The memorial now takes pride of place outside Dudley civic buildings and is the centre piece to the town’s Remembrance Parade.
In his later life, Mr Hickling suffered with dementia. He died in after falling into a coma, brought on by a brain bleed.
In the clip, Rebecca says: "The poem is written from my perspective growing up, observing my grandad and our family go through his dementia and what it was like through the eyes of a child.
"It's based on my own experiences with my late grandad, a well-respected Second World War veteran, and what I witnessed both him and my family go through."
Her homemade video has received more than 11,000 views on Twitter as well as more than 600 combined views on Facebook and Instagram.
Her heart-felt delivery and simple but effective message has won praise from organisations including Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading dementia charity.
She added: "I’m so pleased the film has been well received by organisations such as Alzheimer’s Society, which supported my family through an incredibly tough time.
"Grandad was a loving husband and father and an incredibly warm and generous grandfather to five grandchildren."
Rebecca’s film can be viewed on Twitter.