14/08/2014 16:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents Give Baby Kiss Of Life Five Times A Day - Because She Forgets To Breathe

Parents give baby kiss of life five times a day - because she forget to breathe

A mum and dad have to give their one-year-old baby the kiss of life up to five times a day because a rare genetic condition means she forgets to breathe.

Little Jess Kerr needs her parents, Melanie and Simon, to save her life every time she stops breathing.

She suffers from an extremely rare condition called Patau syndrome that affects less than 200 babies in the UK every year.

Patau syndrome causes such serious problems that most affected babies are lost during pregnancy. Of those that survive birth, most only live for a few days. It is thought to be the most severe chromosomal abnormality.

Jess has three copies of chromosome 13 in every cell, instead of two, and the result is that she forgets to breathe and turns blue.

But she has defied the odds and reached her first birthday.

Mum Melanie said: "I was crushed when doctors told us about Jess's condition, it was just devastating.

"My husband Simon was serving in Afghanistan so I had to break the news to him over the phone and then deal with it on my own.

"Over time, we were told there was an 85 per cent chance of her being healthy so our world fell apart when we had the diagnosis.

"We have to take each day as it comes, although it is very difficult. Jess is absolutely beautiful."

Melanie, 38, who has five other children, added: "Her birthday is an extra special day and we are very excited.

"We're taking her to a play centre with friends and on Sunday we are having a big family party."

The family will be hosting a special fancy dress celebration for Jess in hope of raising money to help fund future activities for her.