Liam Derbyshire is a medical miracle. He was born with a rare case that threatened his life to the point that his parents were informed by doctors that he had only six weeks to live.
By 2011, Liam turned eleven years old. He still needed a life support to keep him alive because if it weren’t for one, the boy would die in his sleep.
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Liam suffers a disease called hypoventilation, known colloquially as Ondine’s Curse. This is based on the myth where a jilted fairy cursed her lover by making him forget to breathe should he fall asleep. But Liam’s life isn’t anything close to a legend, it’s more of a daily struggle that he bravely pursues every day.
Every day, Liam has a tracheostomy breathing tube in his throat. His parents need to keep a close eye on him so he doesn’t fall into sleep without their supervision. In addition to that, Liam suffered pediatric cancer as a young child but went into remission not long after.
Even with all the issues the young boy has faced, he still remains a happy child.
“Every day the doctors are amazed at how fit he is. He has defied all the odds,” his mother, Kim, said.
According to Dr. Gary Connett, Liam’s doctor over at Southampton General Hospital, Liam’s case is incredibly rare.
“The really unusual thing about Liam is that he had a cancer growing inside of him and he had a problem with his bowel. I couldn’t find any reports of children who had all these problems and survived. It’s quite amazing. I would say he’s unique worldwide.”
Still, Liam doesn’t deprive himself of living a good life. He travels by car or by plane with his parents still close by armed with a battery-operated ventilator.
Liam’s parents also spend an astounding $1,000 a month to pay for food since Liam needs a lot for his small digestive system. Either way, they are proud of what their son has overcome.
“He is so full of life, he’s fantastic. He’s constantly smiling and laughing. He’s very affectionate. He has all the normal traits of a lot of kids,” Kim added.