Katie Price shares candid reality of life with Harvey – from smashed TVs to constant hunger

The close bond between Katie Price and the oldest of her five children, Harvey, has always been obvious.

The fact that his dad, footballer Dwight Yorke chose not to have an active part in his son's life has no doubt made them closer still.

But though the doting mum has always show patience and understanding regarding the challenges of Harvey's various medical conditions, in an exclusive extract from her new book Harvey And Me, she details just how hard life can be as the mother of a severely disabled child.

Katie writes openly and honestly about how some aspects of his Prader-Willi condition and diabetes affect Harvey's relationship with food and drink, behaviour, safety, and in turn his relationships with family.

"If I leave Harvey in a room on his own, he’ll check through all the cupboards looking for food," writes Katie of her 19-year-old.

"Sometimes I can tell he’s been in the cupboards because I find him with crumbs all around his mouth. I’ll be like, ‘Harv, what have you just eaten?’ And he says, ‘Nothing, Mummy.’ I say, ‘Are you sure? What about the crumbs around your mouth?’ And then he starts kicking off because I’ve caught him out."

And though Katie and those closest to her have come to understand how Harvey's conditions influence his behaviour, Katie admits that the realities of life with Harvey can come as a shock to those who don't know him well.

"I’ve had people in the house before and he will go through their bags to see if they’ve got sweets or anything for him to eat," reveals the 43-year-old star. "You have to really watch him!

"If I’ve told him he can’t have any more food, he’ll wait until I’m gone and say to someone else, ‘I’m hungry!’

"He knows how to manipulate a situation to get food from someone. And he always remembers people who have given him food in the past."

Get £5 off Katie Price: Harvey and Me (RRP £20) with offer code FA9 . Order online at mirrorbooks.co.uk (Free P&P on orders over £15)

In the book, Harvey's grandmother Amy – Katie's mum – also talks about the struggles the lovable lad faces on a daily basis.

"Katie used to have to lock the door in the kitchen because he’d constantly go into the fridge and take food without her noticing.

"But a lot of the time he used to find the key anyway and just help himself. He’d take frozen pizzas out of the freezer and hide them under his bed. He puts food here, there and everywhere!"

And the trouble doesn't stop when it's bedtime.

"He would get up in the night when everyone was asleep and raid the fridge," says Amy.

"Because of his Prader-Willi syndrome, he never feels full. And because of his diabetes insipidus, he can’t control how much he drinks. So for Harvey, he’s hungry and thirsty all the time and that’s the problem. I can’t imagine how that must feel for him."

The fact that Harvey can't help his insatiable cravings make it even more painful for Katie and her family when cruel trolls make jokes about Harvey.

As his devoted mum admits, it's not like Harvey even enjoys some of the food and drink he feels compelled to consume.

"He even goes through the bins sometimes and he’s been known to eat frozen food from the freezer," says Katie, who has admitted she hopes Harvey dies before her, as he couldn't cope without her.

"He doesn’t care if it tastes horrible because to him, food is food."

Katie also details how Harvey's extreme behaviour at one point saw smashing TVs become part of their daily routine.

She writes: "I've actually found a local shop that sells cheap TVs because its just easier to keep buying new ones."

Harvey once cost his mum £460 during a trip to get their nails done.

"A Justin Timberlake music video was playing on the TV," she recalled. "And Harvey simply didn’t like it, so he picked the nearest thing up, threw it at the TV and smashed it."

There was the horror accident when Harvey ran himself a scalding hot bath and got in, burning his leg.

Katie was devastated to be reported to social services after a nurse accused her of burning her son on purpose. And the accident prompted Katie to take first aid classes.

She writes: "Harvey was screaming and I just felt helpless.

"I was by his side the whole time and I just kept hugging him and telling him how much I loved him. I felt so sorry for him. He didn’t deserve to be going through any of this.

"His screams still haunt me to this day. I had to run down the [hospital] corridor to get away from it, but I could still hear him through the doors. It was the worst thing in the world.

"The image of his poor little face will never leave me."

The list of Harvey's conditions includes near blindness, autism, anxiety and depression, self-harming behaviour, tics and an underactive thyroid.

But it's the illnesses that make him compulsively eat that Katie fears the most.

"I’ve never been told that Harvey has a short life expectancy, but it’s his weight that is the main concern," she says. "As he’s gotten older, he’s become bigger and bigger. Now, my focus is really trying to help him lose weight because at 26 stone, it’s putting a huge strain on his heart."

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