Morgan Prior and he son Harvey who was diagnosed with Panhypopituitarism.
Morgan Prior and he son Harvey who was diagnosed with Panhypopituitarism.

'It's really tough': Toddler battles rare disease

ONE in 500,000 were the odds Morgan Prior's son Harvey Swinton would be diagnosed with Panhypopituitarism.

The rare disease means Harvey's pituitary gland doesn't work at all, so his body doesn't release any hormones naturally.

Miss Prior said because the pituitary gland was known as the "master gland" it affected his adrenal gland and his organs.

"He was about four weeks old when he started to go really yellow and wasn't putting on any weight," Miss Prior said.

"He had lots of blood tests and got transferred to Queensland children's hospital where he had an MRI and they confirmed it was his pituitary gland.

"He has three steroid tablets every day, one thyroid tablet each morning, and a growth hormone needle every night. You have to hold it down for 10 seconds, so that's really tough."

Miss Prior said there were many challenges associated with Harvey's condition, including an inability to go to daycare due to the risk of illness, but at 14 months old he was doing okay.

"As he gets a little bit older he's fighting his needle a bit more, and they're concerned about his lack of being able to socialise," she said.

"He will have to go through puberty artificially.

"But he's full of energy and go, go, go."

Miss Prior is hoping to raise awareness about Harvey's condition.

"When women have scans during pregnancy they check the heart and the brain but it would be great to get the pituitary gland checked as well," she said.



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