A mother was forced to put a baby gate on her kitchen to stop her five-year-old from stealing food.
Holly Williams’ daughter Harlow was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome – a condition shared by Katie Price’s son Harvey – when she was just six months old.
The rare genetic condition, which affects one in 15,000 children in England, means Harlow is missing chromosome 15, which controls hunger and therefore never feels full.
Mother-of-one Holly, 25, from Newport, Wales, has had to store groceries out of Harlow’s reach and will need to start putting locks on cupboards as she gets older and taller.
“If I left a plate of cakes on the side and I wasn’t around, Harlow would easily eat them all.
“It’s happened many times,” she said.
“She mocked a whole grab bag of chocolates that was previously left on the side while I wasn’t in the room,” she added.
Because of the condition, Harlow – who weighs around 7th – is around 44 pounds heavier than the average five-year-old girl.
Holly said: “She eats a full meal and will immediately say she’s hungry again. It’s really difficult because she wants to eat all the time and I have to make sure she doesn’t.”
Before Holly got Harlow, she didn’t know what Prader-Willi Syndrome was – but she says it was obvious her daughter wasn’t developing as usual.
“She was tiny, weighing only 4 pounds 12 ounces.
“She was really limp, had no strength, wasn’t crying and wouldn’t feed properly from a bottle.
“Doctors assumed it was Prader-Willi Syndrome because they said they could also recognize it from their facial features like their eyes, nose and mouth.”
Prader Willi also delayed Harlow’s achievement of milestones as he grew up.
She couldn’t hold her head up until she was eight months old and couldn’t walk until she was two and a half years old.
“Now she’s five, she suffers from some mobility issues. She doesn’t walk far and gets slightly out of breath, but the fact that she’s overweight doesn’t help.
“She also suffers from sleep apnea.”
Little Harlow also has some behavioral issues that are common in children with the condition.
“I have to be strict with her or she would rule my life,” Holly said.
Harlow can get stuck in her ways and have an attitude like she’s 15 and not five, Holly explained.
“Harlow sometimes throws a tantrum when she can’t get her way, like when I tell her no when she wants more food.
“She’s going to throw her iPad, kick her legs and scream and cry,” she explained.
Despite her condition, Harlow is a “happy girl,” her mother said.
“She goes to a regular school and is doing very well.”
What are the symptoms of Prader-Willi Syndrome?
The Prader-Will Syndrome Association UK describes the medical characteristics of the condition as follows:
• Hypotension: weak muscle tone and flaccidity at birth.
• Hypogonadism: immature development of sex organs and other sex characteristics.
• Obesity: caused by excessive appetite and overeating (hyperphagia) and decreased caloric needs due to low energy expenditure, although obesity is not usually a feature of individuals whose food intake is tightly controlled.
• Dysfunction of the central nervous system and endocrine glands: resulting in varying degrees of learning disabilities, short stature, hyperphagia, somnolence (excessive sleepiness), and poor emotional and social development.
Can Prader-Willi Syndrome be cured?
There is currently no cure for Prader-Willi syndrome.
Those diagnosed with the condition are encouraged to take steps to reduce the severity of symptoms and the problems associated with them.
Parents of sick children are asked to monitor overeating and try to keep balanced and healthy meals on the menu.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7213375/steal-food-prader-willi/ My 5-year-old weighs 7st so I have to use a baby gate to stop her stealing food – she can’t stop eating