Story/Interview December 23, 2021
Meet the family who travelled the world to support their son
Skye Geeting is an enthusiastic and inquisitive Year 6 student who has retained his positive outlook on life despite many health challenges he has faced over the years. Here, we speak with Skye’s father, Loren Geeting, who reflects on his travels around the world to support his son’s needs and achieving a diagnosis. Skye is now happily pursuing his studies and acts as a wonderful Portuguese ambassador for King’s InterHigh.
1. Tell us a bit about your journey to supporting your son
Skye was born with an immune system deficiency, and so he had a difficult childhood. He has endured countless bouts of antibiotics, debilitating illnesses, infections in his bones and, due to a misdiagnosis of his illness, multiple bouts of septicaemia. After years of failed attempts to support his health, we soon realised that no-one based where we lived in Macau, China, could help us in the way that was required.
My wife knew we had to look elsewhere to help our son. She searched the world for a professional who might understand his case, and eventually we found a doctor who specialised in immune deficiency in children, based in Portugal. My wife is Portuguese, so we knew we had to give it a try.
After just three weeks of tests, the doctors immediately discovered what was wrong. Following an operation, they were able to get rid of the infection but sadly, due to the long-term misdiagnosis, he will never be able to walk properly again. Skye has had a tough childhood, but despite all of this, he is incredibly loving, caring, thoughtful, filled with energy and endless hope and positivity!
After this, we decided to relocate to Portugal permanently so Skye could be close to doctors who understand him and his case. I quit my job and we moved our life across the world here to the Algarve; surfing is part of his therapy, so Portugal suits this very well.
2. Could you talk about your son’s journey from a physical school to King’s InterHigh?
Skye used to be in a traditional, physical school, which he absolutely loved as he’s so sociable and makes friends so easily. However, the pandemic posed a significant problem for us as Skye’s immune system is vulnerable. When his physical school wanted to go back to learning in real life, we knew we had to put his health first in order to protect him. Once again, we began the search on the internet for alternative solutions and answers. Then, we came across King’s InterHigh! After looking into it extensively and seeing the many happy students there as well as observing the classrooms in action, we decided it would be a good fit for him. Skye has been studying here since 2020 and he loves it! His teachers are so positive and engaging and as a result, we’ve seen his grades improve.
He finds the platform really clear, knows exactly when his homework is due, and can visualise what his timetable is going to look like. He has also made a lot of new friends around the world, and together they play online games, which he really enjoys. It has turned out to be a fantastic experience for us all.
3. Does Skye have a favourite lesson or passion as part of his education?
His studies at King’s InterHigh have affirmed his passion for technology and encouraged him to use it for the better. For example, he uses PowerPoint for a lot of his school projects. At first, he didn’t know how to use this software, and so I helped him learn the ropes. Now, he has zoomed past my abilities and even shows me new parts of the software I didn’t even know existed!
This has boosted his confidence in his technological abilities. He’s fallen in love with 3D modelling, and the school encourages him to incorporate this into his projects as much as possible. For example, he’s working on a project right now where he puts human traits onto animals. He’s been able to do this through 3D modelling, putting turtle features onto himself, and the result looks really amazing!
4. How has your experience been as a parent of a child at King’s InterHigh?
It’s wonderful because I can be involved as much as I want. We believe education should start at home and that’s what my wife and I have aimed to achieve while he’s been studying online. Skye works right in the middle of the house on the dining room table and so we’re always around to help him understand things, which is wonderful for us.
As Skye learns at home, it’s given us the time and space to make so many things together! I work as a director and producer in live entertainment and so I know how to create and develop imaginary worlds, make incredible costumes and props. We’ve made Vikings, Roman Centurions, Minecraft costumes and so much more and the physical skills he has learnt as a result have been great for him.
These joint projects have helped him with many of his subjects at school, including science. Last year, he was asked to drop an egg from a height and stop it from breaking. We did lots of research together and he developed a complex way to achieve this, going through multiple testing rounds. I’m really proud of him and our bond has strengthened as I am able to support him more, both academically and personally, at home.
5. Do you feel it’s important to raise awareness of alternative learning, such as online schooling?
As a result of the pandemic I have been teaching online myself, so I already knew the benefits of online education before Skye started at King’s InterHigh. But not many do! It’s important to raise awareness of these excellent platforms for education. King’s InterHigh is the best children’s online school I have found; it’s also affordable, the class sizes aren’t huge, and he gets a lot of attention.
6. What are Skye’s plans for his future? Does he have a dream career or passion he would like to pursue?
Skye wants to be a YouTuber! We make videos together which he really enjoys and he’s great at speaking and interacting with others in an online environment. He loves talking about games and his creations and that’s so exciting for him. He also wants to create and develop games. He is learning how to use a few programs such as Unity Hub and Unreal Engine to do this. It is so far beyond what I know, all I can do is sit back in awe and enjoy the end results!
I would love him to do more in music because he’s so talented! He has a beautiful, strong voice which he could do a lot with. I really enjoyed working in the West End during my career, starring in many shows including Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, and many more. It would be wonderful to help him develop his voice too, if this is something he wants to pursue.
Here is a video in which Loren plays the instruments and Skye sings the lead in Unstoppable, originally performed by Amber Frank.