At just nine years old Harvey Hext’s name was known by the whole of the Chew Valley and beyond. This little boy from Winford galvanised a community who in his name raised thousands for charity. Why? Quite simply because Harvey was special.
The only boy in the world to have both Downs Syndrome and Neuroblastoma, Harvey also had bucket loads of energy, warmth and love. Everyone who met him could not help but be moved by his personality and spirit, which despite the cancer he was battling for six years, all the treatments and all the illness, he never seemed to lose his joy for life.
Every October since 2011 a fundraising scarecrow trail has been organised in the valley to raise money to get pioneering medical treatment for Harvey in America. Whilst over the years the scarecrow trail has grown and has raised a staggering amount of money, sadly just a month after the latest trail ended Harvey passed away surrounded by his family.
The news of Harvey’s untimely passing was announced on social media and in death as in life Harvey inspired the community, with thousands of people paying their respects to the brave young man. The streets of Winford were lined in red (Harvey’s favourite colour) as people made their way to his thanksgiving service held in Winford, whilst thousands of red ribbons have criss-crossed the valley and beyond in Harvey’s memory and the night’s sky was filled with balloons.
The support for Harvey was far reaching with Louis Tomlinson, from the band One Direction - one of Harvey’s favourite bands - wearing a red ribbon on the X-Factor last week, whilst pictures of red ribbons displayed for Harvey have flooded in from all over the world and tributes have been made across the media.
For the Gazette’s part, our thoughts are with Harvey’s family and friends who we thank for sharing the wonders of Harvey with us. We could think of no better way to celebrate Harvey than to show some of the pictures of him that have featured in the Gazette over the years and to simply say:
Rest in peace Harvey, keep dancing on sunshine, keep smiling and keep shining your light down on us. You will be missed but never forgotten.