It really is a miracle.
Just months after the family of little Harrison Connor launched Manx Miracles to raise funds for a new sensory play room at Pulrose’s Pre-School Assessment Centre, the charity has already raised £46,000 towards its £80,000 target.
The first £40,000 was raised in just four months – enough to enable building work to begin on the extension to the centre that has done so much to transform Harrison’s life.
It was the three-year-old’s battle against multiple health problems that inspired his parents Louise and Chris to create Manx Miracles to help other families like them.
They hope to submit a planning application for the sensory room this week and if it’s approved before Christmas, building work could begin by Easter.
Louise had initially set a target of a year to raise the funds but accepted that might be difficult in the current economic climate.
She said from the family’s home in Abbeylands: ‘It’s just astonishing. We can’t get over the way people have responded to us.
‘It’s just so fast. We raised £40,000 in four months. It’s unbelievable. Because the charity is for children it has really struck a chord.
‘The first £40,000 was to pay for bricks and mortar so we could start building, the remainder was to pay to kit it out.’
Harrison, whose parents call him their ‘Little Miracle Man’, was born blind and with delays in his motor development.
He was diagnosed as autistic when he was one and a half. Incredibly, his eyesight returned when he was aged six to nine months.
He was then diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder 8p23.1 duplication syndrome.
In the first 18 months of his life, Harrison had five to six medical appointments a week either at Noble’s, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool or Great Ormond Street in London. This has now dropped to one appointment a month.
Louise said she had been able to get her own first good night’s sleep when Harrison attended the Pre-School Assessment Centre for the first time in September. At that point he couldn’t speak at all but now he can put together five words at a time. He attends the centre twice a week.
Louise, 37, who runs HR Strategic with her husband Chris, 43, have five children – Dan, 17, Luke, 15, Olivia, eight, Harrison and one-year-old Annabelle.
For more information about Manx Miracles see the charity’s website at www.manxmiracles.com