A mother has been given hope her heavily-disabled son might one day talk after he finally spoke his first-ever word following NINE years of silence.
Lucas Kirby suffers from a rare brain condition called Lissencephaly which means his brain will not develop beyond that of a baby.
His mum Tracie was warned he could not live beyond the age of two but Lucas has defied the odds to reach his ninth birthday.
His handicap however has left him confined to a wheelchair and he has never spoken a word.
But Tracie, 45, was left weeping with joy earlier this month when he suddenly broke his silence for the first time.
Tracie had called 999 after Lucas choked on some food and lost consciousness.
She managed to dislodge the blockage and resuscitate him but paramedics still arrived to check on the youngster.
Dr Andrew Mason introduced himself to Lucas – and was amazed when the youngster looked him in the eyes and said his name ‘Andy’ back to him.
Dr Mason immediately called for Tracie before he repeated himself and Lucas did the same thing again and sent his mother into tears of joy.
Lucas has not said anything else since his stunning outburst on March 2 but Tracie said she now has fresh hope that he may one day be able to speak.
She said: “My first reaction when they paramedics told me was that they were taking the mickey. Lucas has never spoken because he is so disabled.
“I was just floored, literally floored. One of the raid response team had to hold me up, I was just sobbing.
“It has definitely given me hope that he will speak again. You have gone from thinking that he is not capable of doing it to seeing and hearing that he is.
“Lucas has gone through so much in such a short life that every day he is exceeding expectations.
“We were told he wasn’t going to live past two and this month he turned nine.
“I have been trying to get him to say mum his entire life so it is actually quite annoying.
“Even if he never speaks again, at least I know he can. He’ll always be my little miracle boy.”
Lucas’s condition means he has a “smooth brain” which doesn’t have the same grooves or ridges as a normal child’s.
As a result he needs round-the-clock care as regular seizures put him at risk of dying every day.
There is no cure and sufferers rarely live past the age of ten.
Tracie, who looks after him full time at their home in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, added: “He is just a happy kid.
“They said he wouldn’t show any emotion but he definitely does.
“He doesn’t need to say anything because his facial expressions tell you how he feels.
“I am proud of him every day. Even with all his issues he is still the best thing I have ever done.
“You go through life with your blinkers on. You don’t think how many disabled children there actually is.
“But Lucas fills me with wonder every day. One of his nicknames is my wonder boy.”
Dr Mason, from Suffolk Accident and Rescue Service, said: “I walked over to little Lucas and introduced myself.
“When he repeated my name after me, I assumed that it was because his consciousness was improving.
“I told his mum this, only for her to say he couldn’t speak so he can’t have said my name.
“Again I introduced myself and the same thing happened, as clear as anything he said ‘Andy’.
“This time Tracie was there to witness it – and promptly burst into tears.”
Lucas was taken to West Suffolk General Hospital but was soon discharged and is now recovering well at home.
Since the incident the youngster and his mum visited Bury St Edmunds ambulance station to meet the crews and doctor who saved his life.
Andrew Mascall, from the East of England Ambulance Service, was the first paramedic on scene and said Lucas’s first word was a “wonderful moment”.
He said: “It was clear Lucas was quite unwell so we immediately started assessing and treating him.
“He was beginning to show signs of improvement when we clearly heard him say ‘Andy’.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a wonderful moment. It was amazing.
“Tracie was bawling her eyes out after hearing her son say his first word ever – though I think she was pretty miffed it wasn’t ‘Mum’.”