Even a Quick Cat Nap Could be Deadly for 12-Year-Old Boy

Filed under: In The News, Amazing Kids

Bedtime stories and soothing lullabies are anything but relaxing for 12-year-old Liam Derbyshire and his parents. When Liam goes to sleep, he has to be hooked up to a respirator in order to keep breathing.

Liam suffers from the rare condition central hypoventilation, which stops the boy from drawing breath automatically. So, without his respirator, Liam might not wake up from some unplanned shut-eye.

When diagnosed, "... doctors told Liam's parents that the boy probably wouldn't make it past six weeks," MSNBC reports.

The miraculous boy who has already defied the odds was featured on "Today" this morning.

"You go from having a child who you believe to be normal when he is born to suddenly realizing that he has quite a catastrophic condition," his mom, Kim, tells the news show.

She says she must always keep an eye on Liam in case he begins to nod off. And, to take precaution, the family "has spent thousands of dollars on electric bills and on the emergency equipment that will keep the ventilator running in case of a power failure."

In addition to this condition, the 12-year-old also has battled cancer and a bowel disease -- medical problems typically not in tune with an otherwise cheerful and spirited boy. But even though Liam's life is at risk daily, he tries to live like every other kid, and is even starring in his school play, "Today" reports.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.