October 9, 2006

Positivity: Birthday boy defies rare illness

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

In Lancashire, UK:

A plucky Preston youngster has just celebrated his fourth birthday despite suffering a rare illness which needs constant medical attention.

Neil Lockhart Halsall, of Waterloo Road, Ashton, is battling the condition, called severe right main bronchus bronchomalacia, which severely affects his breathing and caused his right lung to constantly collapse. It was diagnosed when he was just seven-months-old.

Neil also had a hole in his heart and a problem with a major artery but has fought back from the brink of death several times, under going a revolutionary operation at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital to patch up his lungs.

The procedure, which had been performed only once before, saved his life. He had special tubes, known as stents, placed in his lungs to keep his airways open.

But, despite his problems, he is a lively happy little boy who loves playing with his toys and runs around like any other child. The only outward sign of his illness is his laboured breathing and the fact that he tires easily and has to sleep every afternoon.

On Friday, he was presented with a cake at his new nursery, St Pious, in Garstang Road, Preston, and celebrated his latest milestone with all his friends.

His proud grandmother Michelle Halsall said: “Every day we have him is a bonus. He loves playing as much as any other child. He particularly loves playing with his football – although we know he’ll never be a footballer.

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