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Harvey Brown on cloud nine after school celebrates his successful treatment


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 Brown with Zampa the Millwall mascot
Harvey Brown with Zampa the Millwall mascot

“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.”

Harvey Brown at Surrey Square School
Harvey Brown at Surrey Square School


  1. “More than 500 balloons”? Where is all that litter now?

    Even supposedly biodegradable
    balloons can last – and do harm – for a year or more. Yet it only takes a
    minutes for them to suffocate, choke or strangle an animal, or days to
    cause a painful death from starvation. Newspapers, cardboard boxes,
    supermarket carrier bags and fast-food leftovers are all biodegradable;
    would it be OK to teach children to scatter them so carelessly?

    Balloon releases are harmful to the environment, to wildlife and to
    domestic animals. The organisers have gone against the advice of the many reputable organisations who ask people
    not to release balloons, including the Marine Conservation Society, the
    RSPB, the RSPCA, the National Farmers’ Union, the Shark Trust, the Tidy
    Britain Group, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Scottish Natural Heritage, Tidy
    Wales, Tidy Northern Ireland, The Country Land and Business Association,
    Surfers Against Sewage, Clean Cornwall, county bird clubs, various
    Wildlife Trusts, the Bumblebee Trust, The Soil Association, The
    Waterways Trust, and others – not to mention more enlightened local
    councils, who have prohibited such littering.

    Southwark council’s own website says:

    The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (the Act) gives local authorities powers to enforce the law against littering

    * Section 87 of the Act says that a person is guilty of an offence
    if they throw down, drop or otherwise deposit or leave any litter in
    any place

    * Section 88 of the Act states that an authorised officer, eg
    Southwark enforcement officer, may give a fixed penalty notice of £75,
    or £50 if paid within 10 days, to any person who has committed an
    offence under Section 87 of the Act.

  2. No more balloons please. Released balloons are a truly disgusting sight and the helium is needed for medicine!

  3. Well done everyone who helped Harvey truly wonderful truly amazing what a mile stone to get a treatment that works ..

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