Our resilient little boy Harrison
What’s it like being the parent of a child with a chronic disease? This incredible story is brought directly to you by our guest contributors, Lisa and Adam - aka the parents of Wish child Harrison.
Harrison is 5 and his wish is to pat and feed a rhino. As he waits for his wish to come true, his parents have shared the highs and lows of Harrison’s journey with kidney disease.
Our little boy, Harrison is 5 years old. Harrison has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
Harrison got diagnosed at 4 months of age when he got really sick and was rushed to hospital suffering seizures. After many painful tests during his first year of life, we found out that Harrison's kidneys had not formed properly in utero and were 'dysplastic'. One kidney was functioning at just 11%. Harrison had his first operation at just eight months old.
Since then Harrison's been in and out of doctors' offices every couple of months and drinks plenty of water because they help 'fix' his broken kidneys.
What daily life looks like
If your look at Harrison, he looks like a healthy kid. That is because CKD is a silent disease.
Our gorgeous guy suffers with daily incontinence, growing issues, iron deficiency, speech delay and many learning difficulties, which as he gets older are becoming more prevalent.
We have recently been told his learning difficulties and delay would have been caused by his failure to thrive in utero.
We don't know when his kidneys will decide to fail, it's a horrible waiting game, but what we do know is that at some stage during his life he will require daily dialysis and possibly a transplant.
The doctors have said there's no way of being able to predict how quickly they will stop functioning or reduce in function.
Life and love
Our strong, sweet boy
For now we do what we can as a family to let Harrison be a 'normal kid' and support him with his daily struggles. As his parents we have now learned to deal with the fact that Harrison will always live with a kidney condition and we just need to live each day without worry and deal with what the future holds when circumstances change.
At our most recent renal appointment, changes in Harrison's kidney health have led doctors to believe further investigations are required. Harrison underwent chromosomal testing and we now wait for a few more months to receive the results of these tests.
I asked Harrison yesterday if it bothers him that he has CKD, to which he replied, 'nah mum it's okay'. He is the most resilient boy we know and we couldn't wish for a sweeter, kinder or more beautiful boy that we could call our son.
We love you Harrison!!!
-Lisa and Adam Seaward
He is the most resilient boy we knowLisa Harrison's mum
The Wish Journey
How a wish comes to life
Make-A-Wish volunteers visit each child to capture their greatest wish, getting to the heart of what kids truly want and why. This profound insight is part of what makes Make-A-Wish unique, giving children full creative control and helping to shape their entire Wish Journey.
Back at Make-A-Wish HQ, we partner with families, volunteers and medical teams to design the ultimate wish experience - and start rallying our partners and supporters to help make it happen.
In the lead up to the wish, we take each child on a journey designed to build excitement and provide a welcome distraction from medical treatment. Anticipation can be incredibly powerful, helping to calm, distract and inspire sick kids at a time they need it most.
When the moment finally arrives, children get to experience their greatest wish come true - it's everything they've imagined and more. Pinch yourself, and don't forget to take a breath and enjoy every precious moment!
Wish impact studies show that a child's wish lives on, long after the moment. A wish gives more than just hope – with an incredible and lasting effect on the lives of sick kids, their families and wider communities.