Mum’s bid for therapy option

Holly Harrap with her son Xavier. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d406353
Holly Harrap with her son Xavier. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d406353

The buoyant Yokine local is mum to six-year-old Xavier Formica who suffers athetoid dyskinetic cerebral palsy, inhibiting his control of movement.

She said that despite some rough days, when his supplementary epilepsy was severe, her treasured son was one ‘happy little dude.’

‘Things are really slow but he is such a crack-up ” he has a wicked sense of humour and really is the sweetest little boy,’ Mrs Harrap said.

‘You think, ‘this is what his life is’ and you can sit there and have a pity party ” which I do occasionally ” but for the most part that doesn’t help.

‘All this stuff isn’t actually happening to me so I don’t have a reason to whinge. It’s him that has to deal with it so all I can do is facilitate him and make him feel as comfortable as possible.’

When Xavier was born, Mrs Harrap had a suspicion that something was wrong despite doctors saying otherwise.

‘I didn’t know what it was because he looked normal, but I couldn’t push this funny little nagging feeling away,’ she said.

‘My other (two) kids were fairly early developers, hitting all their milestones right on cue, if not beforehand, whereas with Xavier everything took much longer. It took him up to 16 weeks just to smile.

‘It wasn’t until he was about nine months old that finally the health nurse said: ‘well, maybe something isn’t quite right.”

Mrs Harrap said her son’s disability had improved over time thanks to early intervention.

‘Through intense therapy and never giving up, he has been able to hit certain milestones which on a good day he can do really easily,’ she said.

‘But if he’s going through a really rough stage with his epilepsy everything is like two steps forward, three steps backwards.’

In an effort to seek further help for her son, Mrs Harrap discovered the TheraSuit. A cutting-edge product, unavailable in Perth but popular in the US, the suit increases feedback to the brain and enhances purposeful movement.

Ms Harrap’s dream is to raise awareness of the therapy and eventually bring a suit and expert to Perth to help Xavier use the facility. She would also like to see therapists trained in the method to help other local kids.

To donate to her cause, visit gofundme.com.