A seriously ill youngster who was not expected to survive more than a week after being sent home from hospital is celebrating his 14th birthday on Wednesday.
Jamie Hodgson spent the first six months of his life in Great Ormond Street Hospital after being born with a hole in his heart and a whole host of other health issues.
During his time in hospital he suffered a brain haemorrhage, a minor heart attack, kidney failure and was on and off life support.
But 14 years on his parents Christine and Eddie, of Tring, are grasping on to every special moment with Jamie as they mark the bittersweet birthday.
Jamie, who only has one lung and suffers from congenital heart disease, has battled back from the brink of death several times - he survived a stroke in 2007 and battled off swine flu during the following year.
A medical check earlier this year revealed his heart is enlarged, which is putting extra pressure on his already battling body.
Eddie said: “That knocked us for six.
“There is no imminent signs that it is going to cause him a problem right away.
“He gets more tired now, but we just carry on and he seems on good form at the moment.”
The teenager’s platelet levels, which are responsible for stopping bleeding, are also low, which meant during an operation last year he required a platelet transfusion both before and after the procedure.
The family, including Jamie’s big sisters Jodie, 16, and Michelle, 26, will be celebrating Jamie’s birthday today with a visit to the cinema and a meal out. Even though Jamie cannot eat solid foods he is hoping to be able to manage a small piece of birthday cake.
Eddie said: “I just want to stop the clock and keep this moment forever and not go into the future too much.
“Last year I thought, ‘he is 13, will we get through the year?’
“We just have to keep an eye on him.
“We take it a day at a time. We try not to think too much about the future. We try to put certain negative thoughts to the back of our heads. We live day to day, week to week.
“It is not worth dwelling on what might happen. We make the most of each day.”
During his short life Jamie has met a whole host of famous faces - most recently Formula One star Lewis Hamilton - and enjoyed once in a lifetime trips abroad including Florida’s Disney World.
Find out more about Jamie at http://jamiehodgsonmakemydreamscometrue.weebly.com/