LITTLE Douglas Husband knows exactly what he is getting for tea tonight.
The 19-month-old toddler from Hunters Bar, Sheffield, suffers a digestive problem that means he can eat only two types of food - potatoes and butternut squash.
His mum Beverley Ward, aged 41, said: “If Douglas has an allergic reaction to food he scratches at his face, screams through the night, is bad-tempered during the day and suffers with severe constipation and diarrhoea.
“He can also come out in hives and it makes him quite ill.
“So far he can only manage to eat two foods - butternut squash and potato.
“It is really sad that at a time when we should be excitedly trying our son on lots of new foods, we are so scared of the reaction he might have.”
Douglas, little brother to three-year-old Edie, first showed signs of problems when he was a few weeks old.
“One day Douglas went blue and limp in my arms - it was the most horrendous moment of my life, I thought he was dying,” said Beverley.
He was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where he was diagnosed initially with bronchiolitis. But he did not have the same symptoms as other children on the ward.
Eventually, at four months old, Douglas was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease. The condition means stomach acid rises into his oesophagus, due to a fault with the sphincter at the top of the stomach.
But Beverley added: “Douglas is a happy little boy and now we are starting to understand his condition he is able to sleep better and do more of the things he should be doing.
“We have to watch him closely when he mixes with other children to ensure he doesn’t eat anything that will make him ill.
“It can be heartbreaking to have to keep saying ‘no’ to him.”
Sheffield Children’s Hospital consultant Dr Mike Thomson said: “This is a relatively new set of diseases to general practice and paediatrics.
“While it will usually resolve with time, it may take many years and other related problems can ensue and last into adulthood.”