Girl Told She Wouldn’t Live Past Two Defies the Odds, Now She’s 16

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 19, 2013   |   8:11PM   |   Washington, DC

Demi-Leigh Mahon has a condition so rare that doctors named it after and some doctors might have suggested she consider an abortion. Now, Demi-Leigh is 16.

Her lungs and heart failed to develop properly in the womb and, as a result, she is susceptible to infection, meaning a simple cold can be life-threatening – similar to the famous David the Bubble Boy.

Although she is now celebrating her 16th birthday, the teenager wants friends and family to donate money to charity to help other young people like her with serious medical conditions.

The London Daily Mail has this encouraging story:

Baffled doctors had never seen the condition before and warned her parents Kerry and Darren she was unlikely to see her second birthday.

But the teenager – who is often so sapped of energy she needs to sleep for four days just to regain the strength to walk – turned 16 on Tuesday.

As a result of her condition, Demi-Leigh, from Telford, Shropshire, suffers shortness of breath, chronic bronchiectasis (a disease of the lungs) and has a defective heart valve.

Her tiny body is also unable to produce vital B-cells that fight infections and three years ago she underwent a lens transplant to remove cataracts in her eyes.

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Demi-Leigh, who is waiting for a double lung transplant, said: ‘I’m so happy to be 16. I haven’t had the easiest time but with the help of my family and friends I’m determined to get on with life.

‘I love seeing my friends and my birthday was brilliant. I just try to take life one day at a time and deal
with it as it comes.

‘You have down days and up days, but the down days are a few more at the moment as I wait for the lung transplant.