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Lucas Harris


Lucas was born in May 2004, the youngest of three with two older brothers, Jordan and Connor. He passed his 6-week baby check, but two weeks later, little things started to happen.

We were told that we were comparing him to his brothers, and that everything was fine. Lucas had hunger pains and began to lose weight. He had sunset eye, but it was ignored. We saw one doctor who stated that if Lucas lost any more weight, he would have to run tests.

He lost more weight and was sent to Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. Tests were run, and they all kept coming back okay. Days passed, but it felt like weeks. A doctor came and said the only test they could think of doing was an MRI scan, but it would require sedating Lucas. This was scheduled for three days later.

The MRI revealed a brain tumor, they said. We were blue-lighted by ambulance to Birmingham Children's Hospital. Upon arrival, staff and surgeons came straight away. They put in a temporary shunt.

In 24 hours, it drained so much that they took Lucas back in to make it permanent. We were taken into a side room and told Lucas had a chordoma—a rare diagnosis. They explained that the prognosis wasn't good. The phone started ringing off the hook with hospitals from all over the world wanting to treat Lucas and try their best.

It was decided that we would stay with Birmingham, and there he remained under their care until we sadly lost him. Lucas had so many operations, all under the care of Mr. Solanki — a man who built an amazing relationship with Lucas, who came out of the theater to see Lucas with his family, who we will love forever.

Lucas had chemo, and the first round was administered at the age of 12 weeks in September 2004. We were told Lucas would never walk or talk, but Lucas spoke, and boy, did we know it. He walked with a rolling walker and got the nickname "Speedy."

Lucas had a shared care protocol with Royal Shrewsbury Hospital after spending six months in the hospital. We are forever grateful to Jackie Hynds and colleagues. Lucas would be monitored with regular scans. A year before we lost him, he had radiotherapy, and like the trooper he was, he sailed through it.

He had a scan in May 2017, but it was never read to us. We lost Lucas on August 31, 2017.

Life changes, moves forward, yet somehow, we are stuck where his life ended. Lucas has a nephew now — Reuben Lucas. We will always tell Reuben all about Lucas.

Lucas's funeral was so full that there were people outside who couldn't get in. Lucas had a lot to do with the Royal British Legion and, in true Lucas style, had a soldier's send-off with bagpipes playing.

Lucas has helped to change the lives of those in the future diagnosed with chordoma. We agreed for samples to be taken, and he's been a part of various write-ups. Lucas will always shine like the star that he was and is.

He will forever be his mom's Mr. Manna, and there will only be one Lucas Harris.

- Kerry Odowd, Lucas's mother

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