Harvey’s parents, Gillian and Stephen, were just eleven weeks into the pregnancy when their worlds were shaken by the news that their little baby boy would be born with spina bifida (a neural tube defect of the spine) and hydrocephalus (a build-up of fluid on the brain).
“We were devastated. We drove home in tears. We faced the news our child would never walk. It’s a different kind of grief, but it is grief all the same.” – Gillian.
They named their new son Harvey – which means ‘ready for battle’ – and Harvey has been bravely fighting that battle ever since. When he was just four days old Harvey underwent surgery to close the lesion in his spine and, today, he continues to face every challenge with the same courage. Gillian says she has learnt so much from her brave little boy.
“Harvey has shown me what true strength is and taught me how to stand up and fight. He has shown me what it is to have unconditional love. He’s my hero.”
Harvey had his most recent surgery in April – which was a scary time for his parents when he went into anaphylactic shock, but mum Gillian says that the surgeons and theatre staff all made sure that he got back to them safely. since then he’s been getting stronger and stronger.
She says,”Shortly after his surgery Harvey learned how to get himself from lying to sitting up. To most people that may seem like a small thing, but it is huge!”
Harvey also has the excitement of a brand new little sister on the way! Mum Gillian says, “I can’t wait to see how Harvey is with her. I’d say it will be a bit of a shock but I think he will be a great big brother and a great role model for her!”