Harry's Star

Harry was his mother's pride and joy, he tragically died two weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, just four weeks after becoming ill.

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On the 4 December 2009 Harry Marsden-Mellin entered into the world and from that day forward my life changed forever.

Harry, Harold or Hazza as he was soon nicknamed grew into a determined confident strong and smiliest little boy I could of ever wished for.

He loved nothing more than launching into a commando crawl which he was renowned for at nursery and zipping around in his walker whilst managing to remove half of my skirting boards in the process, with all the toys in the world it was a wooden spoon and his comfort blanket that kept my little man out of mischief!

Harry was very vocal, he had not started talking properly but would often chatter away to himself with his first word being "gone" a word he was familiar with having heard me say it every meal time when his bowl was empty yet his mouth was still wide open!

Bed time was a particularly special time for Harry and I there was no better end to a day than snuggling up on the sofa and reading his favourite bedtime story! Time I will now treasure forever...

On Sunday 10th October 2010, Harry was first sick. I took him to our local GP who immediately referred me to Airedale Hospital in north Yorkshire. I went back and forth for two weeks until they eventually discovered it was a brain tumour and Harry was referred to the team on Ward 48 at the Leeds General Infirmary where his diagnosis was confirmed as metastatic medulloblastoma.

Surgery was planned to remove the tumour, but sadly Harry deteriorated and had a procedure to insert an emergency shunt but no operation. He began chemotherapy on Saturday 30th October and moved to ward 76, and then in the early hours of the Monday morning he was rushed to intensive care and put onto a life support machine. He was fitting so much and this resulted in extensive brain damage. At 4pm on the Monday the decision was take to turn the life support machine off.

Harry continued to fight and breathed all evening on his own until 3am Tuesday 2nd November when he peacefully passed away. I spent the whole night holding him, cuddling and wishing some miracle would happen. I wanted him to defeat medical science and just wake up.  I spent that night cuddling him on a camp bed talking to him telling him how much I loved him and how he had changed me forever, how he will always be in my heart and head forever. He will always be my first thought in a morning and my last thought before go to sleep.


My little man was my world, my everything, it was always just Harry and me and I now feel lost and empty - a part of me has gone.

After going through such pain I want Harry to be remembered by raising money for research. I want to make people more aware of brain tumours and their symptoms.

In Harry's memory, I want to try to save families going through what I have been through.

Harry was an amazing little boy and I want his memory to help other children.  

I wanted to see Harry take his first step; say mummy; grow into a lovely healthy boy; go to school and do all those normal things I took for granted would follow.

I know that I will never be the same person, it was Harry and me against the world and now my little boy has gone and I can't believe how life can change so devastatingly in the space of a month. Four weeks before Harry died, he was playing with his friends at a Christening, zooming around the house in his baby walker, we didn't have a care in the world, and we had each other.

Now I am left alone, with a gaping hole in my life, and a determination and drive that something positive will come out of this dreadful experience. Since Harry died, I have learnt that brain tumour research is so underfunded, so that is one thing we can all try to put right and I am determined that Harry's death will not be in vain.

Claire Marsden - Mum to Harry age 10 months


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