Harrison was born in the summer of 2007, initially everything appeared perfect but then Harrison’s head started to grow disproportionately large. Harrison was admitted to hospital when he was only 5 weeks old. The doctors carried out several tests and informed the family of the life altering news Harrison had a rare Brain Tumour and significant fluid build-up in the brain. Following several minor procedures Harrison was taken into surgery when he was only 6 weeks old. When the tumour was removed it had grown to over 4cms x 6cms.
Harrison continued to have significant difficulties with hydrocephalus this continues to put his developing brain under pressure. Harrison lost over a third of his brain, this resulted in him developing acquired cerebral palsy or right sided hemiplegia, having right sided hemianopia or no vision in his right visual field, epilepsy, hydrocephalus with a shunt in situ. In addition to these he experiences difficulties with some developmental delay, attention difficulties, hypermobility and hypersensitivities.
Despite Harrison’s unique start to life he is an amazing boy who inspires many with his positive attitude and sense of humour.
Harrison started attending Heal and toe a few years ago and he has benefitted from the programmes which have worked on his gross and fine motor skills but one of the greatest benefits is the socialising with the other children. There is a real sense of comradery amongst the children in Harrison’s group. Harrison has difficulties with his peer relationships at school as many of the children do not fully understand him, however Harrison is bright and he realises he is different from his peers and this can cause distress for him.
Harrison finds school and academic studies challenging – he is very bright but struggles with reading and writing, Harrison doesn’t often get the chance to share with people at school the areas where he excels for example designing and making things however he gets to be himself in the heal and toe sessions.
Harrison is like many 9 year old boys he loves his iPad and Xbox but he also loves transformers and Lego, he is at his happiest when he’s designing and building models and sharing them with people. He also loves volcanoes and castles. He dreams of being an inventor or an engineer when he is older.
The full extent of Harrison’s disabilities are still emerging however on a daily basis right now he experiences pain and fatigue, he would have been right handed but due to the difficulties with his right side he is unnaturally left handed. Heal and toe have encouraged Harrison to participate in exercise programmes and develop his independence skills as well as just generally encouraging and motivating him, it is an essential element of his week.