Despite being in recovery from an operation to remove a brain tumour, brave five-year-old Evertonian Harry Garside has taken the time to say a big thank you to Everton players and Blues fans from around the world for their support.
Harry’s thoughts have remained firmly on his favourite team despite going through an eight-hour operation just over two weeks ago at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Harry and his family received the welcome news last week that his tumour wasn’t malignant, and while Harry is still on the road to recovery, he is doing well and even exceeding medics’ expectations.
Harry is now talking and able to eat and drink again, it having initially been feared these functions could be slow to return, if at all.
Harry posted a heart-warming video on Twitter last week in which he said he couldn't wait to watch his team play again, and thanked the Club, fans and current and former players for their support before and after his operation. He also thanked the Club for a hamper of Everton goodies for Harry and his sister.
A little message from Harry to @Everton @efc_fanservices! Thank you @JaydeeneC @YannickBolasie @aftgomes @richarlison97 @KevRatcliffe4 @theowalcott #harryourhero #bluefamily pic.twitter.com/E6QmNDm2pn— James O'Connell 🌹 (@jaybirdoconnell) August 14, 2020
Everton’s Theo Walcott and Club Ambassador Graham Stuart sent Harry a video message to wish him well as he recovers, while players including Richarlison and Andre Gomes, and Everton’s most successful ever captain Kevin Ratcliffe, shared their good wishes as well as Harry’s story and fundraising appeal on social media.
Evertonians from across the globe have been following Harry’s journey on Twitter and have sent him get well messages.
Friends of Harry’s family are currently taking on the challenge of a virtual walk covering the same distance as Land's End to John o' Groats - approximately 1078 miles - with funds going to help aid Harry’s recovery and any remaining monies going to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and/or an appropriate charity to support families of children with brain tumours.
DONATE TO HARRY'S FUNDRAISING PAGE HERE
Harry’s tumour was discovered after he experienced choking episodes and doctors found a foreign object lodged in his throat. An MRI scan showed that the choking was down to the brain tumour blocking the nerves to Harry's voice box, causing changes in his voice and preventing Harry's swallow mechanism working. This in turn caused him to aspirate, with his lungs becoming badly infected and contracting sepsis.
Harry’s had a much better day today and is feeling more comfortable. His mum said he even gave some smiles. A massive thank you to @theowalcott & Graham Stuart for taking time out to make him videos. He lived them. pic.twitter.com/CVJKbDKFWg— James O'Connell 🌹 (@jaybirdoconnell) August 10, 2020
Harry’s mum Laura said she will be "eternally grateful to the wonderful staff at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, from the neurosurgical team to the dedicated intensive care staff and all the wonderful nursing and support staff who each played an essential role in saving Harry’s life."
Harry faced the double challenge of overcoming the infection in order to have his operation and the tumour removed. Harry spent almost two weeks on the intensive care unit both prior to and following surgery. He is now continuing his recovery and rehabilitation at home.
Laura added: “Everton Football Club and their players past and present did an amazing job of keeping Harry’s morale up through some very dark and difficult days.
"It was very encouraging for us to know that people were rooting for Harry and that the Blues had his back.
"We will never forget the kindness and concern for Harry.”
All the best wishes for the little mate. I hope he recovers as soon as possible! 💙— Richarlison Andrade (@richarlison97) August 7, 2020
Be strong little man! Hope everything goes well 🤞💙— André Gomes (@aftgomes) August 7, 2020
Keep the recovery up Harry be strong 👍💙 https://t.co/nTqQ4sOFVl— Kevin Ratcliffe (@KevRatcliffe4) August 10, 2020