Humberside

Hull boy defies doctors' predictions of an early death

Media captionFreddie Selby was diagnosed with supravalva aortic stenosis in 2009

A boy from Hull, who doctors said had only six months to live, has survived to the age of five.

Freddie Selby has supravalva aortic stenosis, which causes the narrowing of the arteries near the heart valve.

He was diagnosed with the illness in 2009, when doctors told his mother Kirsty Selby that corrective surgery was not possible.

Ms Selby said the family tried to live a normal life but she was prepared for her son's sudden death.

Everyday activities

"The thing with Freddie is he's not going to get poorly," she said.

"The way Freddie is going to die, which the specialist said is 99.9%, is that he will just drop down dead.

"That's the way Freddie will die.

"I don't think there is a better way to go. If that's the way he's got to go."

Image caption Kirsty Selby said the family was prepared for Freddie's death

Freddie's sister Amelia, 11, also has the condition but was able to undergo surgery to correct it.

Supravalva aortic stenosis is rare. According to the US National Library of Medicine, it occurs in one in 20,000 newborns worldwide each year.

Kevin Watterson, consultant cardio-thoracic surgeon at Leeds General Infirmary treated both Freddie and his sister.

Mr Watterson said he was very pleased that Freddie had survived longer than predicted.

"In the vast majority we operate on them, we help them and they move on." he said.

"Freddie is the only one that I can remember where it's so severe that an operation won't help him."

Despite his illness Freddie still enjoys everyday activities like riding his bike, playing video games and walking the family's dog.

Kirsty Selby said she tried to stay positive about her son's condition.

"If I do feel a bit down then I wait until the kids are asleep and then if I want a little cry I have a little cry.

"But the kids will never see me."

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