Henry Bullivant Age 8 – Nominated by Nikki and Matt (Mum and Dad) and Edward Bullivant.
In spite of many operations resulting in restrictive casts, Henry has always been upbeat, stoic and determined not to be treated differently or left behind. He has matched and often excelled his peers. Henry’s Erb’s Palsy can be viewed as a hidden disability. In other words it goes unnoticed by others and as such others tend not to be tolerant or patient to the fact that Henry needs just a little more time. Henry was also diagnosed with High Functioning ASD yet again another hidden disability in which Henry has had to adopt coping mechanisms in order to adapt to what must seem to him over powering surroundings.
Henry, since the age of 4 has undertaken horse riding with the RDA. He has obtained certificates of merit for horsemanship and a number of rosettes. Henry will be the first to admit that he is currently wavering in confidence due to a recent fall however he continues to push himself and in every sense of the phrase he gets back on the horse.
Henry has also excelled in a cycling course. There were genuine concerns that he wouldn’t manage the coordination of the bike but day one he was independently cycling!
At school Henry has pushed himself at sports and does not let his disability hold him back. Each year Henry has regularly come away with a minimum of 2 first places at track events.
Henry continues to maintain a significant folder of Gold, Silver and Bronze Maths-Whizz certificates, school merits and has been identified as star of the week and star writer on a number of occasions. To gain such academic awards requires immense concentration which in itself is a massive achievement as when Henry is discouraged by the impact his Erb’s arm has on meeting a task such as neat writing, coupled with the sensory and distracting impact of his ASD, Henry somehow overcomes these competing impulses to rise to the challenge and succeed.
Henry supports his Nana on a Sunday at her business, a traditional Cotswold sweet shop and even has his own bespoke uniform with the shop logo and his name on it. On the reverse of the shirt is the word Boss! Henry takes this role seriously and yet with humour. He confidently acts the genial shopkeeper and host. He has a wide customer appeal. The pensioners are particularly fond of him as a cheeky chappy. The tourists adore his polite British charm and one American lady even asked for permission to photo Henry so she could show her granddaughter the excellent British boy who is the “Boss” of a chocolate Box British Sweet shop and served her the sweets. When Henry is not there on a weekend Nana has all the parents and children asking when he is next in. Never to miss a trick and being entirely selfless Henry has utilised this confidence and popularity and via the shop held charity-raising events for Children in Need, Erb’s Palsy and Comic Relief. Henry’s charitable efforts are well in excess of £150.
Kai Grant, Age almost 3 – Nominated by Mum Nicky Grant
After a very difficult delivery and start to life, we were told Kai would need surgery on his Erb’s arm, but he was also diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and until that was under control he wouldn’t be allowed the operation.
In January of this year, we arrived at Great Ormond Street and Kai finally had his surgery. He has been so brave and placid. We called his cast his he-man armour and by the time the day came to have it removed, he’d become quite attached to it and still now asks if he can have it back on!
The surgery itself was a massive success. He has much more movement in his arm and never complains having his physio every day. His confidence has grown too… He’s always been a shy boy who hangs back for a while, before trying new activities or being with new people. This year we’ve seen Kai trying rugby and gymnastic classes, he is a regular at mini marvels and now often attempts to escape from me to go in his big sisters class when we drop her at school. This year has been a massive turning point for Kai, and thanks to his wonderful surgeon we have a happy, able and confident boy who astounds us every single day!