Seven-year-old Harvey Brown has celebrated with his entire school after his strong reaction to a new drug treatment that is helping his body develop like a normal child.
Millwall-mad Harvey from Bermondsey jumped for joy as 480 pupils at his school, Surrey Square in Walworth, each let off a balloon for their Wear It Blue charity day.
His parents, Vikki and Dean, of Galleywall Road, say Harvey is “full of energy” and “happier than ever” since starting his Vimzim treatment for the debilitating disease, Morquio.
Dean, 46, said: “Today has just been incredible. We can’t believe what so many people have done, and are still doing for Harvey.”
Morquio is an enzyme deficiency which stunts the development of children’s skeletal growth, leaving sufferers with weak bones, a tendency to develop heart disease, and impaired vision and hearing.
Before the Vimzim became available on the NHS, Vikki and Dean were doubtful that little Harvey would live beyond his twenties.
“Harvey had his first treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital at the beginning of April. Each of the four infusions has taken five or six hours,” said Dean.
“Hopefully after twelve weeks everything goes well and there’s no problems, but the treatment will last for the rest of his life.
“We’ve seen improvement already, he’s got so much more energy and appetite.”
Vikki, 47, a teaching assistant at the school, said: “Harvey has been able to do so much more school work and has so much more energy. His appetite has improved and he is so much happier and smiling more since starting the treatment. We have noticed such a difference.”
The party started at the turn of 3pm on Friday, on a day when Surrey Square were raising £1 from each pupil to wear something blue, as a donation for the MPS Society charity.
Surrey Square head teacher Nicola Noble said they had to book 3pm with Air Traffic Control as a time to release the 500 balloons, in case they got in the way of a helicopter.
Millwall FC donated £500, and over 500 chocolate cakes were baked and donated by the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch.
Nicola Noble, who made the countdown before the jaw-dropping balloon release, said: “Today is a celebration to show Harvey we love him. They are a really special family to all of us.
“Our pupils wrote letters to the government asking them to fund Vimzim. Now the children believe they made all the difference and helped get Harvey his treatment.”
Vikki added: “Nicola has been there for our family through the good and the bad and are so grateful to the school.”
The celebration was also attended by Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP, Neil Coyle, who helped the family create a petition, signed by over 10,000, for the government to make Vimzim free on the NHS. He said: “It’s wonderful to see so Harvey’s school and Millwall giving so much love and support.”