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New helmet can help save Harry's life

PUBLISHED: 21:20 04 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

HARRY Storey lives in a surreal world - and his father is appealing for help that could potentially save his life.

The 12-year-old is autistic, has learning difficulties and suffers three types of epilepsy - so his home in Old Foundry Road, Ipswich, has padded rooms to protect him when he fits.

HARRY Storey lives in a surreal world – and his father is appealing for help that could potentially save his life.

The 12-year-old is autistic, has learning difficulties and suffers three types of epilepsy – so his home in Old Foundry Road, Ipswich, has padded rooms to protect him when he fits.

Outside his home the Belstead Special School pupil wears an ice hockey helmet for safety reasons when he falls.

The helmet is uncomfortable so his anxious dad, David Baker, is urgently appealing for designers or manufactures to help his epileptic son and improve Harry's quality of his life.

"Harry has so many fits during the course of the day," said David.

"He has sudden drops fits where he drops like a stone. He is getting so big now it is potentially fatal as he could hit his head on the concrete.

"The ice-hockey helmet is only meant for people playing about a half hour game of hockey.

"Harry wears it most of the day and will cry when you offer it to him because it is niggly and irritating."

David has looked at all possibilities, including a crash helmet (which is too restrictive), a cycle helmet (which does not provide adequate face protection) and a medical helmet, which hasn't the right padding.

He has even approached Suffolk College but is now at a loss to know where to turn.

"Harry needs a new helmet, which is suitable for his needs in terms of safety and comfort," said David.

"He needs something better, with better padding and is safe. The medical ones he can rip off. A motorcycle helmet would be better, but that is too enclosed. He really needs a mixture of the three.

"There needs to be another design, not just for him – but for the other children as well."

Other fits Harry suffers include Salaam spasms, which he has about six times a day. It is so named because the appearance of the seizures is like a bowing movement.

Up to four times a week he suffers from Grandmal convulsions – a severe epileptic seizure.

"Harry is a happy child, said his dad. "But these fits get in the way of his life."

If you can help, telephone David on 01473 216759.

Harry would be happy to wear a T-shirt with a company logo for any firm who can come up with the right helmet for him.

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