Meet Kai Talbot – one of the very few youngsters in the country to suffer from an ultra-rare combination of life-threatening medical conditions.
Thirteen-year-old Kai has been in and out of hospital for much of the last five years and, last year, a complex but potentially life-changing operation was thwarted at the 11th hour when doctors found he had an incurable heart problem too.
Kai, from Garswood, also suffers from portal hypertension – high blood pressure between the spleen and liver – bowel disease and the serious bleeding disorders thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia.
His mum, Kay Watson, now hopes to raise enough money to take her son on a much-needed holiday.
She said: “I want to try to take Kai on holiday and I’ve asked if I can take him abroad. He really wants to go to America but I’ve been told he can’t fly.
“Even if we can just take him abroad, that would be great. He really wants to go on holiday and he deserves a holiday too.
“Kai’s a strong lad with an old head on young shoulders. I’m unbelievably proud of how well he has handled all this.
“His doctors say they’ve never seen anyone so young with such a complex range of medical conditions.”
Kai’s medical problems began in 2009 when he started bruising easily, suffering nosebleeds and feeling permanently sleepy.
At first, doctors thought it was just a virus but the former Garswood Primary School pupil was then sent to Wigan Infirmary for blood tests after he fell asleep in class.
Medics then sent him for further tests at Manchester Children’s Hospital amid fears he may have leukaemia.
Instead, he was diagnosed with a bleeding disorder, which Kay hoped could be managed with medication.
But, when he kept coughing up blood, he was admitted to Leeds General Infirmary in 2011 after pressure in his stomach kept causing his veins to expand and bleed.
Then, last year, a US specialist flew over to perform a potentially life-changing operation on Kai - only to be forced to pull out after tests showed Kai also suffered from incurable pulmonary hypertension.
Kay, 39, added: “Kai was absolutely devastated when the doctors were unable to go through with the operation. He’s now on medication to prolong his life.
“Kai’s a big Liverpool FC fan so I’m trying to arrange for him to go on a stadium tour and I’m organising a fundraiser at Garswood Labour Club.
“All the proceeds will go towards his heart team at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and towards a holiday.”
Kay has already booked a DJ and a singer for the March 28 fundraiser and plans to hold raffles and an auction of sporting memorabilia.
Kai, who has two older brothers - Conor, 20, and Cameron, 16 - grew up in Garswood but now lives in Wigan with his mum and 14-year-old sister Ellie.