Katie Price shows off a new look as she discusses Harvey
A distraught mother has been forced to put a baby gate in front of her kitchen – because her five-year-old daughter has a rare genetic condition which means she never feels full, meaning she is always hungry. Harlow Williams was diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome – like Katie Price’s son Harvey – when she was six months old – and now weighs seven stone, compared with an average for her age ranging from 2 stone 3lbs to 3 stone 12lbs.
Mum Holly Williams, 25, from Newport, Wales, has to keep food out of reach – because Harlow’s lack of chromosome 15, which controls hunger, means she has an endless appetite.
Ms Williams says that she has to remain stern and tell Harlow “no”, and strives to ensure she eats a healthy, balanced diet.
She explained: “Having a baby gate on the kitchen door helps with making sure that Harlow isn’t getting into cupboards in the kitchen, and helping herself to that.
“In the future I will have to take further measures and as Harlow gets older I will more than likely have to get locks for the kitchen.”
Until Harlow’s diagnosis, Ms Williams said she had never heard of Prader-Willi Syndrome.
Harlow and Holly Williams
Harlow Williams is not able to walk long distances
She said: “I was confused, but as long as I had my daughter, I didn’t care what she had.
“I started googling the syndrome and I discovered that Katie Price’s son, Harvey, has the same condition. So, I started watching her videos about it to educate myself.
“One of Harlow’s symptoms is constantly food seeking. When children with Prader Willi reach a certain age, they become fixated on eating.”
Ms Williams continued: “She eats a full meal and will say she is hungry again straight away. It’s really difficult because she constantly wants to eat and I have to make sure she doesn’t.
“It’s hard to manage and I have to try and explain to her that she’s not really hungry.
“If I were to leave a plate of cakes on the side and I wasn’t around, Harlow would easily eat them all. It’s happened plenty of times before.
“She has scoffed an entire grab bag of chocolate that was left on the side before, while I wasn’t in the room.”
Harlow Williams is only five – but already weighs seven stone
Prader-Willi syndrome: NHS explain rare genetic disorder
Prader Willi has also delayed Harlow from reaching milestones while growing up. She was unable to hold her head up until she was eight months old and did not walk until she was two-and-a-half.
Ms Williams said: “We knew something was wrong when Harlow was born.
“She was tiny and only weighed 4lbs 12oz. She was really floppy, had no strength, didn’t cry, and wouldn’t feed properly on a bottle.
“The doctors assumed it was Prader-Willi Syndrome because they said they could tell from her features too, such as her eyes, nose and mouth.
“But she wasn’t officially diagnosed until she was six months old after further testing.
“The condition was first mentioned when she was just a few days old.
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Katie Price and son Harvey and the National Television Awards 2022
“She had to stay in hospital for the first two weeks of her life until she started feeding properly.”
Harlow has mobility issues, struggles to walk and gets out of breath easily, a fact not helped by being overweight.
She also suffers from sleep apnea.
Nevertheless, Ms Williams stressed Harlow was a happy little girl attending a mainstream school, although she does have some behavioral problems.
She said: “Harlow will sometimes throw a tantrum if she can’t get her own way, for example if I tell her no when she wants more food.
“She will throw her iPad, kick her legs and scream and cry. I have to be stern with her otherwise she would rule my life.
“However, we have a really close mother-daughter bond as we are together all the time.
Katie Price and Harvey pictured in 2019
“She also idolises my mum. She’s obsessed with her, as people with Prader-Willi Syndrome have obsessive personalities.
“I have watched a few of Katie Price’s programs and documentaries, and I love watching her with Harvey as they remind me so much of Harlow and me.
“One of the main things I have learned from Katie Price is patience and to remain calm. It’s the most important thing, and you have to remember it’s as hard for them as it is for us.
“I find it so inspiring watching Katie and Harvey, she is amazing with him. I relate to them so much.”
Sadly, Harlow has received “horrible” abuse from online trolls, Ms Williams explained.
She said: “I’ve now had to turn the comments off on my TikTok videos. People say that I should be ashamed of myself for feeding her too much when that isn’t the case.
“She has put on so much weight due to her condition, and people don’t seem to understand that.”