Waikato baby born with syndrome that could cause it to self-harm

Holden Cheetham.
Holden Cheetham. Photo credit: Givealittle

A Waikato couple's newborn son is in Starship Hospital after being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition.

Holden Cheetham was diagnosed with Lesch-Nyhan syndrome shortly after he was born in September.

Lesch-Nyhan syndrome causes kidney stones, bladder stones and cognitive disability. People with the condition can also display behavioural issues such as self-harm, usually biting and headbanging.

A Givealittle page started by Holden's family says his health troubles became apparent soon after birth.

"He was in ICU straight away as he had issues with his breathing. He recovered from that and was with his mum in a ward when they discovered that he was tongue-tied so they fixed that but then he was not peeing so he had to go back to ICU," the page description says. 

"While he was there they thought he was not going to make it but he pulled through and they sent him to Starship where he was again in ICU but is now in a ward."

His parents, Ashley and Jaide Cheetham, told Stuff finding out Holden had the condition, which also affected Jaide's family, was heartbreaking.

"We took it pretty hard, especially when they (doctors) said he wasn't going to make it," Ashley said. "He's gotten it way earlier than what they expected already."

Ashley said Holden might not be able to walk because cerebral palsy is a symptom of the condition.

"They've [also] said he could end up needing to have his teeth removed because he will keep biting his lip or bite his fingers."

The Giveallittle has raised $901 so far, from 33 donors.


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