He’s fought more battles than most people do in a lifetime and he’s not yet two years old.
Theo Hutton came back from the dead seven minutes after being stillborn when his brain was starved of oxygen.
The harrowing birth has left him with cerebral palsy and he is unable to sit, walk or talk.
But despite his ordeal, Theo always has a big, beaming smile and his parents Laura and Andy reckon he is the happiest little boy around.
Now the couple want to improve his chances in later life by raising £100,000 for various treatments abroad.
They include pioneering stem cell surgery – not yet available on the NHS – in Panama.
This has led to huge improvements in other children who suffer from the incurable and crippling condition.
And the couple are convinced it will massively enhance Theo’s quality of life.
Mum Laura, 29, said: “The treatment aims to stimulate stem cell growth in the brain.
“At the moment he can’t co-ordinate movement in his arms but this could improve. Or he could learn to talk.
“It will be small steps, but each one would be a huge step for us.”
The procedure would see 35 millions stem cells from a donor umbilical cord injected into Theo’s system to stimulate and repair damaged nervous tissue in the brain.
Laura and Andy hope to take him to the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City once a year for the next five years.
Each course of treatment would cost around £16,000 but they say it could massively improve the youngster’s life, helping him achieve milestones they can only dream of at the moment.
Laura, a health and safety manager from Wirral, Merseyside, said: “Around 90 per cent of your brain is developed by the time you are five years old, so we would like to get the first three treatments in by then so they would have the most benefit.
“There’s the cost of the treatment for Theo and we’d also need to cover the costs of us taking him over there to look after him.”
An estimated 30,000 children in the UK have cerebral palsy.
Some have had successful stem cell treatment and the couple hope the same will happen for Theo.
Holly Greenhow, from Cambridgeshire, made a “huge improvement” after she had the procedure aged 11 in the US.
It gave her improved vision, an expanded vocabulary and more control over her muscles.
Her mum Fiona said: “To suddenly see some tiny little steps is wonderful and it just gives us hope for what might happen in the future.”
Laura said she hoped the treatment would do the same for Theo, who is 21 months old.
She said: “Theo is the biggest fighter we know. Every little thing he does is a challenge. He has the biggest smile and is the happiest little boy.
“He deserves a chance of the life he was once robbed of. There are numerous therapies and pioneering treatments available. But they are not accessible on the NHS and the expense is very high. We’ve done so much research on this, read so much and we know it works.
“It’s just not available on the NHS. There are a lot of places in the world that do it but not the UK.
“They’ve not gone through all the clinical trials.
“Not only will he need this treatment, he will also need specialist equipment going forward.
“If we could travel to America yearly for this treatment this could potentially help Theo to develop and maybe even reach those milestones that parents get so excited to see.”
It is believed the youngster has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, although this cannot be fully diagnosed until he is more than two years old.
He will need an MRI scan to receive the full diagnosis once he reaches the required age.
Until the devastating events during his birth, Laura said her pregnancy with Theo – her only child with husband Andy, 34 – was normal.
In a video they posted online, they told friends how they were overjoyed at the pregnancy, sharing the scan picture and revealing they found out they were having a boy at 20 weeks.
But at the hospital on October 18, 2017, medics battled for seven minutes to revive Theo after he was stillborn. He also had numerous seizures.
Laura said these factors and being starved of oxygen led to his brain injury and cerebral palsy.
She and Andy told how their baby was blue and was immediately whisked away from them, describing it as every “parent’s worst nightmare”.
After watching him being resuscitated the tot was placed on life support attached to numerous wires and tubes, while his mum and dad were told he might not make it.
Laura describes how she cried when she was finally able to hold her son for the first time when he was five days old.
After they finally took him home they soon realised he wasn’t developing at the same rate as other babies.
He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy – which affects one in 400 UK tots – at 11 months.
The couple say Theo’s smiling face and “infectious laugh” keep them going as they strive to raise the cash to get him the treatment abroad.
Laura said: “We just want to help him reach his full potential and have an amazing quality of life.”
As part of the fund-raising the family also want to buy an intensive hyperbaric oxygen chamber system for Theo.
These cost £17,000. Laura said: “The benefits of this are that it can take the swelling down in the brain but also increase the growth of stem cells in the brain to redirect the signals.
“It provides him with 96 per cent oxygen and can be used every day.
“You can rent them but it’s so expensive. That’s why we’d like to buy one for him.”
The family will also need funds for any changes they will need to make to their home as Theo gets bigger.
This includes specialist equipment and physiotherapy outside of the NHS, special chairs, car seats and wheelchairs.
Laura said: “If we manage to raise the funds quickly enough it would be life changing for our son.
“Theo has been through so much in his life already with barely a murmur of complaint, and it would be devastating to see such an opportunity slip by.”
- To help Theo and his family, click here .