Harry was born in December 2008 and suffered from oxygen deprivation at birth. He proceeded to have seizures shortly after birth and was in intensive care. An MRI when he was a few days old confirmed our worst fears that he had suffered severe brain damage. The first few months of his life were very tough, trying to come to terms with what had happened and not knowing how he would develop. After a few months he was officially diagnosed as having quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Harry had a life-threatening seizure when he was 3 where he had to be resuscitated, and since then has been on epilepsy medication. His seizures are now quite well controlled but he still goes through periods of seizure activity which affect his abilities and his general wellbeing.
Harry is non-verbal, he cannot walk or use his hands functionally so he needs help with everything. However he is a bright and curious boy with a strong personality and a good sense of humour! He always wants to be on the move, he can crawl on his knees and move around in a fully supported walker, he loves swimming and trampolining and watching sport, especially cricket!
His other great pleasure in life is music, especially The Wiggles who are his absolute heroes. Last year we had our house adapted to make it accessible and create a downstairs bedroom for Harry and he now loves nothing more than chilling out in his new room watching YouTube! Harry has a younger brother and sister, who are 6 and 4 respectively, and is the object of much envy from them as he is the only one with a TV in his room!
The greatest challenge for Harry is finding a method of communication which works for him as we know he has a lot to say. He has demonstrated the ability to use eyegaze but we need a lot of expert help for this to become a really functional means of communication for him. We are hoping that with the additional therapy and equipment made possible by Peterson's fund, Harry will be able to make progress both physically and with his communication, and we are very excited to see what the future may bring for him with this help!
- Written by Helen (Harry's mum)