THERE’S no-one in the world quite like Harry Crowther.
The sprightly 11-year-old is the only person to suffer from a rare genetic form of progeria – making him age five times faster.
But despite suffering the aches and pains of a pensioner, the Mirfield boy will be putting on his specially-made blazer to start high school next week.
The lively pupil cannot wait to hit the science lab at Castle Hall School as he looks forward to the major milestone.
But the A-typical Progeria Syndrome he suffers means special measures are being put in place to help Harry make the most out of his school days.
Mum Sharron said: "We’ve had a meeting with the school and he’s going to be allowed to leave lessons five minutes earlier to avoid corridor crushes.
"They’re also going to put his locker in a quieter area and he won’t be allowed to do contact sports in PE like football or rugby.
"It’s not that we want him to get preferential treatment, but he needs to avoid big crowds where he could get bumped.
"With him being small and bruising easily, we don’t want him to get hurt."
Harry – who also suffers from arthritis in his fingers, toes, knees, elbows and wrists – also has a special bag which converts into a comfy seat cushion to make lessons more bearable.
A special school blazer has also been made to fit his tiny frame.
Harry – who lives with his mum and IT director dad John, 41, sister Emma, 16 and 14-year-old brother Jack – was born at Dewsbury District Hospital without any complications.
Medics first thought he had a cleft palate, but tests revealed his mouth was normal.
Yet by the time he was one, Harry had developed large brown freckles under his armpits and the skin across his abdomen became tighter.
As he started school, the youngster’s face began to alter and he was eventually referred to a geneticist at Leeds General Infirmary.
For years, Harry’s symptoms baffled medics until his parents saw a programme about a girl with Hutchinson Guilford Progeris Syndrome – the nearest illness to Harry’s condition – and the penny dropped.
Harry was diagnosed at the specialised UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, USA, when he was aged seven after undergoing further tests.
The oldest sufferer of a similar condition survived to the age of 26.
Sharron, deputy manager at Wellhouse pre-school in Mirfield, added: "It is a big milestone getting Harry here, after the years of not knowing what was wrong with him.
"I am really worried about him, especially as his other school saw him through from his diagnosis.
"It is such a big school with about 800 pupils. I just hope all the information about Harry is going to get across to people like supply teachers."
Harry – who dreams of being a marine biologist – also has a few concerns.
He said: "I’m looking forward to it but I don’t know my way around the school, which I’m a bit worried about.
"If people stare, I’ll just ignore them and deal with it.
"When my arthritis comes on, I just stop and take a break.
"I’m looking forward to chemistry most. I love doing experiments."