The look of love this Father’s Day

Four-year-old Harry has been given a second chance in life thanks to his father, Trevor. Harry received his dad’s kidney last week, a life-saving and selfless gift that encapsulates the loving bond between father and son.

Little Harry is always smiling and laughing, has a wicked sense of humour and energetic curiosity much like any other child his age but he’s had a remarkably tough short life to date.

Born 32 weeks premature with breathing issues he went on to have nine surgeries within the first six months of his life because his bladder flooded in utero. The immense number of surgeries meant he had to be on life support to allow his little body to rest during these periods.

Harry was diagnosed with a posterior urethral valve, a blockage that hinders urination, resulting in organ damage so his parents knew he would eventually need a new kidney. His illness meant he woke each day with flu-like symptoms and was itchy all over. In addition to this discomfort he was also tethered to a dialysis machine 12-hours a night so a quality nights sleep frequently eluded him.

The family were at the point where they would try anything to help their little boy get better. Harry’s genetic makeup made him a tricky match for an organ donation so he spent nearly four years on the organ donor waiting list. When Trevor discovered he was an eligible donor he was elated, despite knowing that losing his kidney would change his life drastically.

Due to Harry’s high number of surgeries from birth for his condition, a transplant much earlier than now hasn’t been an option. His tiny body needed the time to rest and recover so that it had every chance of accepting the organ from his dad.

Harry is under no illusion about where his new organ came from, “you made it for me,” he says, pointing to his dad’s abdomen.

“He doesn’t owe me anything. We owe him everything,” Trevor said.

Harry’s mum, Eileen knows that the new kidney from his dad will give him the energy he needs to grow and play, and “Trevor and I wanted that for Harry more than anything,” she said.

Harry’s older brothers, Tom and Jake, have also been impacted upon by Harry’s medical needs. Not only have they seen the discomfort of their younger brother first hand, they’ve also been limited by what they can do together as a family due to the restrictions of being on the organ donor registry. The family will now be free to go on a family holiday without the necessity for a contingency plan to reach the nearest hospital in an emergency.

Eileen is emphatic in her belief that the support of Very Special Kids these years has got the family through some of their darkest moments. Eileen says she is particularly grateful for their Family Support Worker, Peggy.

“Initially it was really hard for me as I find it hard accepting help but Peggy helped me break down these barriers and know that it’s ok to ask for help. She’s been amazing,” she said.

Eileen also attends Very Special Kids coffee mornings and says “it’s important to debrief with other families in a similar situation. I can’t speak highly enough of this support.”

The Booth family’s display of unconditional love and promise of a better life for Harry is a true inspiration to everyone at Very Special Kids.