Hearts for Harrison: Send a valentine to 9-year-old Wilson boy

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When you’re purchasing cards for Valentine’s Day this week, consider buying an extra one for Harrison Barnett.

The Wilson Times and Brewmasters are joining in a Hearts for Harrison effort over the next week, encouraging residents to send some cheer to the 9-year-old Wilson boy, who received a kidney transplant two weeks ago.

On Sunday, from 2 to 5 p.m., Brewmasters will have a station set up at the restaurant for making valentines. Brewmasters will also donate to the family all cash tips and $1 per pint sold during that time.

Classrooms or other groups that have large numbers of cards to send can drop then by The Wilson Times office, and we will make sure the cards get to Harrison.

Becky and Charlie Barnett have been grateful for the outpouring of support for their son, who has been hospitalized at UNC Healthcare since the beginning of November.

Harrison especially enjoys all of the cards that have made their way to his room in the last three months. It’s been a bright spot in his day when the mail arrives, his mother said.

The Barnetts are thankful for not only the cards but also the monetary gifts, gas cards and gift cards to Harrison’s favorite Chick-Fil-A (he loves nuggets) and Starbucks (where he gets hot chocolate.) He’s also had visits from N.C. State athletes and even Darth Vadar. Rebecca said the visits have been fun, and the donations have really made a difference for them. They are so thankful.

Harrison is doing very well post-transplant.

“It’s nothing short of a miracle, really,” his mother said. “No one expected this.”

His first biopsy looked very good. The next one will be in two weeks.

On Tuesday, Harrison was taken of his IV for six hours. It was the first time in more than three months that he was not tethered to an IV pole.

Harrison is having to adjust to his new normal, which includes drinking lots of water and having working kidneys. His kidneys are working well and producing urine, something that had not happened since he received the new kidney from Alison Kennedy. Kennedy’s son is a classmate of Harrison and his sisters at Wilson Christian Academy.

If you’d like to mail a card, address it to Harrison Barnett, 101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. He loves to have mail delivered. Teachers are welcome to bring valentines from their class to The Wilson Times, 126 Nash St.