LIKE all good parents Katie Price will do whatever is best for her children – even if she breaks her own heart in the process.
For 18-years she has been the main caregiver for son Harvey and has now decided to place him at a specialist school where he can learn to become independent.
The mum-of-five, 42, said: “It breaks my heart. I don’t want him to think I’m just getting rid of him.”
Katie continued: “It’s so upsetting to think I won’t see him every day but this is the best thing for Harvey and we have to think positively because I don’t want him to think I’m just getting rid of him.
“This is his chance to live an independent life, learn skills and socialise with people other than me.”
Harvey, who was born in 2002, suffers from multiple medical conditions including autism, Prader-Willi Syndrom (PWS), which means he can’t tell when he is full from eating, and septo-optic dysplasia which has left him partially blind.
Without constant medication, the eldest of Katie’s brood would die – meaning his mum and grandma had to learn how to administer everything he needed at home.
Little Harvey was just six weeks old when medics realised he was blind and would need specialist attention from the get-go.
When he turned three-and-a-half, Harvey was diagnosed with PWS which prevents him from knowing when he is full. It can also cause attention deficit disorder and oppositional defiance disorder which leads to aggression.
Katie’s ex-boyfriend Dwight denied he was the father of disabled Harvey until DNA tests proved otherwise.
For a while, Harvey had the attention of both his parents but at the age of four, Dwight stopped all contact with him – leaving Katie to cope with a severely disabled child on her own.
Harvey takes three hormone medications each morning
Thankfully Katie had the support of her mum, Amy, who helped maintain Harvey’s strict routine to try and minimise his outbursts and tantrums.
Any changes or unfamiliar places make Harvey very upset because of his autism and see him fly into a tailspin of bad behaviour.
Grandma Amy was in charge of getting Harvey up and ready for school because if he saw his mum he’d refuse to go.
Their routine includes a special knock at the door so he recognises what is going on, then his clothes are laid out in a particular order so he can get dressed and take his medication.
Harvey takes three hormone medications each morning which are given orally and he usually does it himself under supervision.
Katie and her mum had to learn how to tell when Harvey needed emergency cortisol injections and often had to go to the hospital with him when he gets a temperature as for him this could be really dangerous.
The former glamour model also had to give him her son a growth hormone injection every night to ensure he developed properly.
His hormone deficiency means that Harvey can’t destress without having a specific injection and if he doesn’t have it he may start fitting.
The family also keep a book about exactly what Harvey has had to eat and drink and what medication he’s been given in case of an emergency hospital visit.
And on top of this, throughout his childhood Harvey had to have regular checkups at the hospital to monitor all of his conditions – but Katie says he never complained about it.
When he was six Katie said on This Morning: “I’m worried about his behaviour because he’s so unpredictable. When he gets bigger and stronger he’s going to be more difficult to handle.”
When he was little, Harvey couldn’t be left alone with his siblings as he didn’t know his own strength and could quickly take a dislike to them.
“I want him and other disabled kids to be treated with a bit of respect"
But despite his conditions, Katie says she has always been keen to treat all of her children the same way – meaning Harvey was not allowed to get away with bad behaviour.
She also ensured he spent Monday to Friday in school with other blind children to give him a chance at experiencing normal life.
Katie made the decision early on to be open about her struggles with Harvey because she isn’t “ashamed” of having a disabled child and doesn’t want other mums to be either.
And when comedian Frankie Boyle made a series of sick jokes about Harvey in 2011, Katie hired lawyers and stepped up her campaign to protect her son.
Speaking on Sky’s Standing Up For Harvey, she said: “I want him and other disabled kids to be treated with a bit of respect, just like the rest of us.”
In an interview a few years later when Harvey was 12, Katie admitted her son was “hard work” but she “didn’t know any different” as he was her firstborn child.
She told Eammon and Ruth in the This Morning chat that PWS was the worst of his conditions. She explained it affected his behaviour the most because it made him fixate on food.
It means that Katie and her mum can end up dealing with aggressive behaviour as Harvey simply doesn’t know when he’s full and always wants to eat.
During the interview, Katie also admitted booking holidays with her eldest is especially difficult as they have to ensure a large hospital with the correct facilities is nearby in case anything happens while they’re away.
Now 18, Harvey is still spending time in the hospital – recently being taken into intensive care after contracting a bug.
A rep for Katie told The Sun Online: "Harvey has been taken to a local hospital for tests – he wasn't feeling well yesterday and has today has presented symptoms that require urgent medical attention.”
But as Harvey has got older, it has become increasingly difficult for 5ft 4in Katie to calm or restrain him as he stands at 6ft 2in and weighs almost 29st.
And his insatiable appetite is putting him his health at serious risk, with Katie struggling to stop him from snaffling food behind her back.
Each time Harvey is told “no”, it can result in a tantrum which can see her house smashed to bits.
He can also get stressed when there are loud noises – resulting in him breaking four TVs in 2019.
It’s finally led Katie to conclude that she can no longer provide the best care for Harvey, despite all her best efforts.
And he will be heading to a specialist college where he will live away from his mum and family while learning to become more independent in a supported environment.
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