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Princess paradise

Harper has been through a lot in five years, which has understandably taken a toll on her. So, to help her sleep, process her feelings and have a place she can throw her own princess party every day, Satan’s Little Helper stepped in.

Harper with her gifts from Satan's Little Helper

Five-year-old Harper lost her father when she was just six weeks old and from there has endured a series of misfortunes that would make anyone weep.

“She’s been diagnosed with ADHD, is suffering the effects of long Covid,” explains her mum Hannah, “as well as the associated long-term impacts of her dad passing.”

Hannah says Harper’s ADHD has made it difficult for her to adjust to school, especially as it marks her out as being ‘different’.

“The friends she had at kindy have started to distance themselves from her because of her ADHD and outbursts, but her teacher and school do an amazing job to make sure she’s included in everything. As a result, she has made two very close friends and they do everything together!”

Long-term health impacts

However, just getting Harper to school has been a challenge since she picked up Covid for the first time in February 2022.

“She has long-Covid and must deal with everything that brings with it, such as chronic fatigue. There are days when she sleeps for 18 hours.

Hannah says Harper is prone to picking up every bug under the sun and, as a result, can spend long periods confined to her bed. At the time of this interview in September, Harper had only been at school for four-and-a-half weeks out of the entire school term.

On top of it all, she’s also struggling with the loss of her dad.

Processing her feelings

“Her grief is impacting her a lot at the moment,” explains Hannah. “She’s at the age where she’s starting to become aware that she doesn’t have a dad and she’ll see her friends with their dads at the school disco or see them being taught how to ride a bike by their dad – typical stuff that she has missed out on.

“Thankfully, in her two grandfathers, she has two strong, positive male role models in her life, but it’s not quite the same.”

Harper is seeing a counsellor through The Yellow Brick Road Trust, which has helped her deal with her emotional outbursts. One of the coping mechanisms they have suggested is to create a ‘safe space’ just for Harper – and when Satan’s Little Helper found out it could make a positive contribution to her life, we jumped at the chance to help and sent her enough goodies to turn her room into a Disney princess wonderland!

A space for healing

“It’s made such a difference,” says Hannah. “She knows that when she gets into a bad mood or feels close to an outburst, she can take herself to her bedroom and calm down. Having that as an option has made a crucial difference to her emotional regulation, because she previously wouldn’t want to go to her room and would have a little ‘moment’.

“Now, she loves going in there to make a blanket fort or cuddle up with a colouring book.”

“ Before the items arrived, she’d want to sleep in my bed with me, but now she’ll happily go to her own room and bed. Her mood is a lot better as a result!

“It was so nice to watch her happiness and excitement at receiving the gifts. I can’t afford to buy her everything she wants, so to see her receive a package was really special. She cried when she found out someone else was looking out for her and couldn’t stop telling me how happy she was.”


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