Harry is eight years old and lives in Lima, Peru. His family survive on a very small income and in poor overcrowded conditions.
Harry was born prematurely, and spent the first two months of his life in an incubator. When he was released from hospital, his mother Monica, quickly realised something was wrong. Harry didn't make any eye contact or respond to changes in lighting. A trip to the hospital confirmed that he was blind. Aside from his vision loss, Harry was like any other child his age. He enjoyed playing with his mother and hearing her sing to him.
When he was three he contracted bronchial pneumonia as a result of living in damp conditions. He was hospitalised for two months and when he left the hospital he had severe hearing loss in both ears.
Harry's father, Abel, was desperate to help him learn to communicate and engage with outside world again. He secured his son a place at the Centre of Special Basic Education and they referred him to Sense International for specialist support. After seven months of intensive therapy Harry can now respond to simple instructions and is learning sign language. His father is amazed by the change and is delighted to see Harry becoming more independent.
Before, Harry found it hard to play with his brother and sister. Now they all play together, sharing time as a family. All these positive changes make them feel like a family unit again. Abel hopes that as Harry begins to learn a form of sign language he will become more independent and have a much brighter future.
First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 20 September 2017