6-year-old twin recovers from brain surgery with brother by side - WKRN News 2

6-year-old twin recovers from brain surgery with brother by his side


Twin boys continue to capture the hearts of many, even as one of them faces a life-threatening illness.

Johnny and Bobby Harris are two of a kind.

"Everyone in the whole world likes us," Johnny exclaimed.

The identical duo are usually inseparable; but recently, the boys have been kept apart by hospital walls.

"I got shots," Bobby explained from his hospital bed Wednesday afternoon. "And this was the first time I never cried for a shot."

"And this time, they took the tubes out, but no tear came out of his [points to eye]," Johnny interrupted.

Nashville's News 2 first met the silly six-year-olds in February, among 15 sets of twins at Castle Heights Elementary in Lebanon.

"Well, sometimes we have tickle fights," Bobby said in the previous interview, as Johnny giggled by his side.

One month later, everything changed.

Bobby got sick. He suffered weak legs, double vision, and then vomiting.

His mother and father, Leticia and John Harris, took him to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

"They did an MRI on him and found a very large mass in his brain," said Mr. Harris. "And they said, 'Immediate hospitalization and we're going to prep him for surgery.'"

"I was numb," Mrs. Harris recalled. "I didn't know what to think. I don't think I reacted."

"It was heartbreaking," Mr. Harris added.

Bobby underwent surgery on Wednesday, April 10. Most of the tumor was removed.

One week later, the post-operative machines and tubes are gone, too.

"I'm feeling good," Bobby said with a sort of raspy chuckle.

Doctors were unsure how the surgery would effect Bobby's vision, speech, and motor skills.

So far, things look good. Bobby is walking and talking, getting stronger and even telling jokes.

But his recovery is just beginning, and treatment is not over.

In the coming weeks and months, Bobby will need chemotherapy and radiation to rid his body of any remaining cancer cells.

His doctors and parents are cautiously optimistic.

"His brother wants him to come home. We all do," said Mrs. Harris. "It's hard going to their room. There's nobody there."

"I don't want to know what the cure rates are because I want to be positive for Bobby. That's really going to be a factor for his recovery," Mr. Harris said.

As for Bobby, he's taking comfort in Johnny's familiar face.

"Everyone's praying for Bobby," Johnny said. "I pray a lot."

The Harris family has set up an account to help fund Bobby's medical expenses. Donations can be made to the "Bobby Harris Donation Fund" at Wells Fargo.

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