A British toddler, who was told he could never eat normally, ate a cheesy snack and his mom encourages him to take baby steps in beating a rare congenital disease.
Hugo Smith, 2, from Bridlington, East Yorkshire, proved doctors wrong when he wolfed a cheesy Wotsit snack, reports the Daily Express.
When Smith was born, his parents were told that he was suffering from tracheo-oesophageal fistula.
Without surgery, victims can choke on food, with air from the windpipe getting trapped in the stomach and saliva flooding into the lungs.
In his first six months of life, Smith underwent five operations, including one when he was just a day old.
Although the damage to his oesophagus was mended by the surgery, his parents Kim and Dan were told that he could still face a life feeding from a tube and his speech could suffer because he was not exercising his facial muscles by chewing.
"It was overwhelming. I hated the thought of us not being able to have a family meal together or Hugo not being able to talk to other children," said Kim, 25, who gave up her job as a nursery nurse to care for her sickly son.
To encourage him to eat normally Kim gave Hugo tiny amounts of milk from a bottle, and got him to lick blended meals frozen in ice cube trays.
Then, six months ago came the breakthrough with Wotsit.
"I had opened a bag of Wotsits and his eyes lit up. I handed him one and he took a big bite," said Kim.
"I expected him to spit it out but he was grinning from ear to ear. We knew then we could progress on to more foods and could get the tube out of his stomach," she added.
"He's eating, his development is catching up. He started babbling soon after he started eating and one day he said 'Dada'. He has completely defied doctors' expectations, he's doing so well," said Kim.