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Mental Health

Uncle with schizophrenia shares incredible bond with nephew

"They are both kind, caring, innocent souls."

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By Fiona Jackson via SWNS

Check out this incredible bond between an uncle with schizophrenia and his one-year-old nephew.

When his mental health problems started to get worse, Alexander 'Adder' Shepherd, 32, sadly lost a lot of his friends, his family said.

But it was love at first sight when he met his baby nephew, Beau Cumine, and now the pair are inseparable.

Adder goes over to visit his sister Josephine Cumine, 31, who lives a few doors down, to watch a movie with her son every night at 7 P.M.

This has become the tot's favorite time of the day, and his mom says he refuses to sit still for anyone else.

Josephine, from Crail, Scotland, said: "Adder loved him from the day he was brought home from hospital.

"They are both kind, caring, innocent souls.

"They have no judgment or preconceptions of others, just love and acceptance."

Adder has struggled with his mental health throughout his life as a result of multiple traumatic brain injuries, but started showing symptoms of schizophrenia in his late teens.

He was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and also contracted meningitis at the age of 12.

While at university he was hit over the head with a barstool.

Nurse Josephine said: "He is extremely intelligent and was doing physics and maths at university before his schizophrenia became apparent.

"He couldn't complete the course due to his illness.

"Adder will speak to anyone. He values kindness and generosity."

When Josephine brought home her youngest son Beau from the hospital in July 2020, Adder was immediately smitten.

As COVID restrictions eased, Adder would visit his nephew nearly every day to snuggle up for a film.

Josephine said they've watched over 100 different flicks together, ranging from Peppa Pig to Jumanji.

The mom-of-three said: "Adder always brings a Curly Wurly chocolate bar for each of my children when he visits.

"He bought Beau his first football and he always says he will be a pro player one day, he looks so proud when he sees him kicking the ball.

"Adder plays guitar and sometimes beau will do a little dance while he plays.

"Beau tries to grab the strings while Adder is playing, but he is so patient with him."

Josephine posted a compilation video of Adder and Beau meeting up to watch a film on TikTok which went viral, racking up over 860,000 likes.

She said: "I was so happy to see so much open narrative about the stigma surrounding schizophrenia.

"Adder thinks it's so cool, he's glad that he's helping people

"There are a lot of misconceptions that people with schizophrenia are inherently dangerous.

"I have been told so many times that Adder will hurt my son and it's not the case.

"I am so proud, I couldn't ask for a better role model for my son.

"Adder will protect him and teach him compassion."

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