PARENTS

Boy Finally Takes His First Sips After Not Eating Or Drinking For FIVE YEARS

24/07/2012 12:17 | Updated 22 May 2015
Boy finally takes his first sips after not eating or drinking for FIVE YEARSCaters

A little boy who has been unable to eat or drink anything for FIVE YEARS has taken his first sips.

Daniel Harrison is just one of 12 people across the world not able to let anything pass his lips - even though there is nothing medically stopping him.

The youngster from Nottingham, has a phobia of eating and drinking after a bad case of acid reflux as a baby left him in terrible pain.

This means apart from breastfeeding as a baby, Daniel has never swallowed any type of food or drink - until now.

Mum and dad Catherine, 37, and Kevin, 41, took Daniel to University Hospital in Graz, Austria where they have successfully treated a condition like Daniel's successfully.

Medics in Austria use a technique not practiced in the UK - a model which uses a variety of in-house methods to make a youngster realise they need and want food.

The treatment meant Daniel successfully swallowed his first drink EVER - a glass of milk.

Kevin said: "It was incredible seeing Daniel drink for the first time. Catherine and I just cried and cried.

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I'm so proud of him - it's the best thing in the world to see my son make such a breakthrough in his phobia. Daniel is a great little boy but how is he meant to function in adulthood without being able to eat?

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"Our local Public Health Trust (PCT) refused to offer us any funding and even for things like help with travel costs we have been told we can't get help because we are working.

"Our only chance was to take him to the hospital in Austria , as they are the only people who say they have treated a condition like Daniel's successfully.

"The problem is Daniel's case is so rare, even in Graz they have only seen and cured 12 youngsters and that is over 22 years."

The memory of the painful acid reflex he had means Daniel has refused to take anything solid since - and was fed through a tube in his tummy for four years.

He is able to be fed by a syringe with a teet on the end which he sucks - similar to how he would have been able to drink milk while breastfeeding.

Daniel will now have a specially designed water bottle, made using the same concept, to allow him to swallow the milk without fear.

The milk is made up of a special formula which holds all of the key nutrients that Daniel needs to keep him healthy and nourished.

Throughout Daniel's short life, his parents have faced a constant daily struggle to find a way to help their son eat and drink.

The youngster has no interest in food as he doesn't understand its purpose and its body doesn't recognise the need or desire for it.

Daniel sits at the dinner table during family meal times but has to be entertained with toys.

"There is nothing medically stopping our son from eating, it is in his mind, but there has been nobody yet that has managed to help him overcome that," said Kevin.

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