Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland teen takes tea with Harry Potter star Helena Bonham Carter

By Sarah Tawton

An aspiring Northern Ireland actress has swapped tips with her idol Helena Bonham Carter as part of a wish day organised by a charity.

Shealyn Magill (15), from Ballymena, was treated to afternoon tea with the Harry Potter star at The Dorchester hotel in London.

The pair chatted about Helena's most famous roles and the actress presented Shealyn with a replica of the wand used by Bellatrix in the films.

The day was organised by Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, which grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.

Shealyn was born with a severe heart condition and underwent her first surgery when she was 10 months-old.

She had a heart valve transplant in 2005 but last year doctors found the valve was leaking and that she had a swollen left ventricle.

Shealyn said: "Helena has inspired me to keep going. The wish had a huge impact as I have been feeling very down about the fact that I am in heart failure, however the wish gave me a boost when I needed it most."

The teenager has now been given a mechanical valve implant, but may need a heart transplant.

Helena said: "Shealyn talks about me being an inspiration but she is the real one, together with her sister and mother. It was my privilege to meet and spend time with her.

"I've often thought pretending for a living is not the most useful or grown-up way of spending one's life, but if I can make an iota of difference to someone's life just by meeting them then I feel for once it was a day well spent.

"Make-A-Wish is an extraordinary charity that makes magical encounters happen. And trust me, the magic works both ways."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph