Saturday, November 6, 2010

Little boy who hasn't eaten anything in FOUR years

A little boy has become so frightened of food and drink he hasn't eaten anything for four years.

Daniel Harrison's problem began when he suffered a severe case of acid reflux as a baby.

Because the four-year-old also suffers from autism, the memory of that painful time has stopped him from eating anything solid since.

Daniel's phobia means the only way he can get nutrition is through a tube in his stomach.

His parents, Kevin and Catherine, regularly shell out for costly trips to London's world famous Great Ormond Street Hospital from their home in Carlton, Nottingham, in a bid to find a solution.

But experts have found no way to help Daniel.

Now, in what father Kevin describes as his 'only hope', the family are determined to raise the £20,000 needed to fund a trip to a unique clinic in Austria which might be able to solve Daniel's difficult case.

Daniel has had numerous medical procedures and operations to try and correct his condition medically but with no success.

And in November 2009 he bravely fought off swine flu which developed into pneumonia and a collapsed lung.

Boots manager Kevin, 41, said his dream was to see his boy eat like any other little boy and that it would mean everything to the family.

He said: 'As a dad sitting with my boy at a table with all his feeding tubes and machines I know what it feels like to have people looking at him.

'Catherine and I worry about what would happen if something happened to us, we want Daniel to be able to eat and feed himself.
'The strain on Hannah is enormous also, to see your brother starving himself would be traumatic at any age, but she has been wonderful and is a credit to her brother

'There is nothing medically stopping our son from eating, it is in his mind, but there has been nobody yet that has managed to help him overcome that.

'The doctors at Great Ormond Street have been great, but even they don't know what to do with Daniel.
Our only chance is to take him to University Hospital in Graz, Austria, as they are the only people who say they have treated a condition like Daniel's successfully.

'The problem is Daniel's case is so rare, even in Graz they have only seen and cured 12 youngsters and that is over 22 years.'

Using a technique not practiced in the UK the Austrian model uses a variety of in-house techniques to make a youngster realise they need and want food.

But for Kevin and his house letting manager wife Catherine, 37, their goal of helping their son is still far away as they have been told they will get no NHS help to send him abroad.

Kevin added: 'Daniel is a great little boy and his autism can be managed, but how is he meant to function in adulthood without being able to eat.

'Our local Public Health Trust (PCT) have refused to offer us any funding and even for things like help with travel costs we have been told we can't get help because we are working.

'Both Catherine and I have to take time off to take Daniel for treatment and we simply can't afford the huge cost it would take to get him to the clinic.

'There is a practical side to Daniel's condition as well, any outing is difficult to organise as we have to take lots of equipment. Our last holiday took six months to organise.

'It is also not fair for Daniel because taking his food through a tube means he has to sit still so we have to strap him down. If he could eat things would be different.'


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