Albie won’t let 28 surgeries stop him fulfilling his dreams of being a marine biologist | News

Albie won’t let 28 surgeries stop him fulfilling his dreams of being a marine biologist

Albie smiling with his thumbs up

Seven-year-old Albie was diagnosed with Reoccurring Respiratory Papilloma, at just three years old.  
It’s a rare condition that causes non-cancerous growths to form in the air passage and around the vocal cords.  
   Albie sat in hospital wearing pyjamas smiling at the camera  
He has had 28 surgeries at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, but he's not letting his condition hold him back from following in the footsteps of his hero, David Attenborough.  
When Albie was two and a half years old, his parents, Kimberley and Thomas from Shropshire started to notice Albie’s speech was delayed and his voice was croaky, and he became fussy about the food he’d eat.  
Kimberley commented: “ I just knew there was something wrong, our parent instincts were telling me something wasn’t right.
“When we took him to the doctors, at first they thought it was just a virus, but we eventually got referred to see an ENT specialist.”  
As the family were waiting for the referral, on Albie’s 3rd birthday , things suddenly took a turn for the worse.  
Kimberley  recalled: "It was his 3rd birthday , and in the evening me and Thomas heard a loud ‘bang’ from Albie’s room, and when we ran upstairs, he couldn’t breathe.  
“We called 999, but by the time the paramedics arrived he was breathing again.  
“Albie told everyone he was feeling fine, but the paramedics noticed his voice sounded strange, so decided to take him to hospital.”  

After being assessed at one of their local hospitals, the team decided to perform a gastroscopy, which involved putting a camera down Albie's throat, to investigate further.  
  Albie wearing a yellow top sat in a hospital bed smiling holding his thumbs up 
Albie was then diagnosed with Reoccurring Respiratory Papilloma in January 2020 and was referred to specialist teams at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.  
Kimberley said: “Within a few weeks of being referred to the Children’s Hospital, Albie had his first surgery, and he’s had 28 surgeries since then, with the latest being in February 2024.  
“He has Gardasil injections, which is the HPV vaccine and that should hopefully stop it spreading to his lungs. He’s also had Avastin injections directly into the site where it grows, but unfortunately for Albie, it just pops up elsewhere.  
“Following his next surgery in May, Albie will need the Avastin to be given via IV infusion, as the papillomas are growing more aggressively than we originally hoped.  
“Albie will have to have these surgeries and treatments either for the rest of his life or until his body goes into remission.”  
Albie is also autistic and can sometimes struggle with different aspects of being in hospital and having surgery and treatment, but his parents Thomas and Kimberley praised the support and care they had received at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.  
   Albie lying in bed watching television  
Kimberley said: "It’s unknown territory for our family. I’d never heard of the condition before, but every single person that we’ve met at the hospital has been the best we could have asked for.  
“His surgeon, his Play Therapist, the Nurses, everyone has been incredible. The nurses and staff on ward 17 have been  amazing with Albie too.

Albie holding a centipede wearing a hat and a shirt

“With the help he's had from his amazing Speech Therapist, he’s been able to maintain the speech he has too.”  
Despite Albie’s health, Kimberley and Thomas make sure Albie knows he can do anything, and not to let anything hold him back.  
Kimberley said: “Everyone that meets Albie adores him, he’s such a funny and sweet boy who has a love of animals and the world.  
“Considering all the challenges he’s had in his life, he’s got such a positive outlook and we couldn’t be prouder.  
"He’s joined Beavers and he’s taking drum lessons, and he loves to swim. He wants to be a marine biologist when he’s older, his hero is David Attenborough.  
“He has a lot of barriers, but he doesn’t allow it to stop anything. He knows he can do anything.”

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