The best Christmas present I could have

Harvey Brown, who will be 'spending Christmas with his family following life saving surgery earlier in the year.
Harvey Brown, who will be 'spending Christmas with his family following life saving surgery earlier in the year.
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A proud mum whose son underwent life threatening surgery earlier this year has described him as her “best ever Christmas present”.

Just a few months ago, plucky Harvey Brown was fighting for his life after having the back of his skull removed as part of a vital operation.

The six-year-old was born with craniosynostosis – a rare skull condition in which the plates of the skull fuse together restricting the brain’s growth.

But despite being born with a misshapen skull, his condition – which affects around one in 3,000 babies – was not detected until he was three-years-old.

Harvey underwent surgery at Liverpool’s Alder Hey’s Children Hospital, but last month the youngster relapsed resulting in a life-threatening 10-hour operation.

His mum, Gill, 40, of Horse Park Lane, Pilling, told The Gazette she thought she might never spend another Christmas with her son.

She said: “At the time I wouldn’t allow any negative thoughts, even when the doctor told me Harvey could die during surgery, I wouldn’t believe it.

“It was a help to have such a brave boy, when Harvey heard what the doctor had told us, he just turned round and said ‘well that makes me feel better’.

“But after the operation when I knew Harvey would be OK, I let myself have that moment, the reality of losing him actually hit me and I knew I could have spent this Christmas and the rest without him.

“That’s when I cried.”

Harvey spent eight days in intensive care following the delicate operation due to the change in pressure on his brain.

Doctors told Gill and Harvey’s dad Jim there had been severe bruising on the brain where it had been squashed and if untreated would have left Harvey with brain damage. Harvey, a pupil at St William’s Catholic Primary pupil in Pilling, is now back at school but not allowed to play sport for at least six months.

Gill said: “He is such an active boy he is finding it hard to stay indoors but the school have been so good, he is allowed to pick a friend to stay in with him every day. We are going to have a family Christmas and on Boxing Day everyone come round to my house, we will have a good day.”