When doctors told Colette Flannagan that her son wouldn't live 48 hours after being born, it was the worst news she could've ever received. What she didn't know was that her son would go on to defy astonishing odds.
Flannagan's son, Daire, was born with a rare genetic condition called Apert Syndrome. According to Apert.org, the syndrome occurs in 1 in every 200,000 live births and causes malformations to the head, face, hands, and feet.
Describing the moment the doctors informed her that Daire was sick, Flannagan told Belfast Live: "It was like the end of the world when they told me that." The doctors did not let her see the baby until five hours after his birth, when they again told her that if her son did survive he would never be able to walk or talk.
But thankfully, the doctors were wrong because 12 days later Daire was discharged. Since then, Daire has had to undergo more than 30 surgeries and physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Today, he is a happy six year old, and despite what the doctors said he is dancing, playing, walking, and talking. Once Daire was able to put words together he said, "I love you," because his mom was always repeating those three words to him. And like a true soccer fan, he cheers whenever his favorite team, Everton F.C., plays.
Daire currently attends Fleming Fulton School in Belfast, Northern Ireland which specializes in teaching and caring for children with physical disabilities. You can follow Daire's story and progress on a Facebook page run by his mom here.