Masterchef family toasts their Princess Royal ‘aunties’ on World Prematurity Day
Pasta la vista – Harris MacLean shows his Masterchef dad, Gary, how to stir things up in the kitchen.
By Democrat reporter
Harris Maclean is shaping up to be a famous chef like dad Gary – despite his early and dramatic arrival in the world 11 weeks early.
The Maclean clan from Glasgow – dad Gary, mum Sharon and children Cameron, Ewan, Laura, Finlay and Harris – will make an emotional trip this Sunday to the Princess Royal Maternity to give thanks and celebrate World Prematurity Day with lots of other very grateful families.
Gary (47) shot to fame after winning the MasterChef the Professionals show in 2016.
“We call them our PRM aunties – we have so much love for that unit and their amazing staff. We simply wouldn’t have what we have today without their dedication and skill,” said Sharon (47).
Sharon and Gary, Scotland’s first ever national chef, have a lot to be grateful for – all five of their children were born prematurely in Glasgow maternity hospitals. Cameron was born at 30 weeks, Ewan at 33 weeks, Laura and Finlay were 36 weeks gestation and Harris, now six, was born at 29 weeks.
Sharon said: “We know them all so well – Margaret Sinclair, a midwife who helped us when Cameron was born in Rottenrow in 1996, was one of Harris’ godparents!
“What amazes me still is that they know all their babies and they must treat so many. It’s lovely that they always remember your story.
Harris will be six on Christmas Eve and is doing really well despite his prematurity.
“Harris spent 97 days in the excellent care of the Princess Royal. When we first got to see Harris after he was born, I walked into the unit and saw Janice O’Brien, who had cared for Cameron back in 1996. I turned to Gary and said ‘Our baby is going to be fine – he’s in good hands’.
“He’s doing great now and is at school. He’s a wee bit on the wee side and still attends cardiology, but apart from that he’s well. He’s a very determined little guy and can hold his own,” said Sharon.
Despite his young age, Harris is shaping up to be a fine chef one day.
Sharon said: “He really is a daddy’s boy and misses Gary a lot when he has to travel. He can make a great pot of soup and can also make bread. Whenever Gary is cooking – which is all the time – Harris pulls up his wee chair and copies everything he does, so he’s going to be a great chef I’m sure.”
Sharon and Gary met 30 years ago at the Glasgow College of Food Technology and have been married for 27 years.
“As a family, we have been through a lot, but have so much to be grateful for. We are looking forward to going to the PRM on Sunday to celebrate with other families. Those amazing staff became our family and still are to this day,” said Sharon.
Gary said:” We are eternally grateful to the incredible staff over the last 24 years whose dedication and skill undoubtedly saved Cameron and Harris’ lives. Without them, things could be so different, we will never forget the job they have done for our family.”
Dr Carolyn Abernethy, one of the PRM’s neonatologists said: “I am so proud to be part of such a fantastic team. We love to hear from parents or see them back and see how well their little ones are doing.
“Every year thousands of families have to experience what the Macleans went through, and World Prematurity Day helps raise awareness of premature birth and the hurdles babies and parents have to go through.
“Every day we see the courage and fight our babies give to survive and the emotional roller-coaster it is for their families. The babies and families go through so much and if, as a team, we can help make their journey a little easier we have done a good job. They are an inspiration to us and the babies are our super heroes! “