Kimba community throws party for Henry Larwood

FRIENDS: Henry happily surrounded by his class mates. Names appear in story.
FRIENDS: Henry happily surrounded by his class mates. Names appear in story.

The Kimba community is throwing a pool party for one of their own, Henry Larwood.

Seven-year-old Henry has spent most of his life in a wheelchair, living with Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy.

Living on a farm with his family 50 kilometres out of Kimba, he has been embraced by the community throughout his life, and is popular with his peers.

His mother, Dani Larwood said it was “special” to see the support he received from the children of Kimba.

“Every time we roll up somewhere… there’s always kids wanting to play with Henry,” she said.

“They take turns looking after him.”

Henry has undergone a lifetime of physical therapy and medical attention, but the spasticity will see his mobility regress through his teen and adult life.

With this in mind, his family looked into the possibility of Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery to increase his mobility.

While the surgery will not stop regression, it is predicted to lead to better posture and balance.

With the surgery, Henry could one day walk with canes, and his increased mobility will give him more freedom to keep active and maintain his progress.

With financial assistance from Variety, local businesses and a GoFundMe campaign, the Larwood family has been able to secure the surgery for Henry at a hospital in Missouri in January.

Community members have organised a pool party to celebrate the opportunity and send Henry off in style.

Organiser Toni Scott said the party would be a way to include Henry’s friends in showing support, because they had grown up with him.

“He knows that everybody here is behind him,” she said.

Mrs Larwood said the family was grateful for the support from the community and Henry’s friends.

The party will take place the day after school breaks up at the Kimba Community Swimming Pool.

Pictured are: Back: Macy Lienert, Connie Rayner, Jack Dickenson, Jak Griffiths, Luke Kassebaum, Liam Sawyer, Declan Moore; front: Indi Scott, Harlow Seal, Henry Larwood, Boh Mayfield, Ava Harris.