A LION-HEARTED lad who suffers from a severe stomach disorder has defied the odds again.

Callum Axfordwasn’t expected to even reach his first birthday, but on Thurday he will walk through the gates of Giffards Primary School, Corringham, for his first day at “big boy school”.

He was born seven weeks early with a life-threatening hole in his stomach known as Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). It means Callum’s walking, talking and reading skills have been slow to develop...and he has never eaten a solid piece of food in his life.

Yet the four-year-old has amazed doctors at every stage with his progress and is now something of a bookworm, and loves Mr Men books.

His mum Faye, 30, said: “Callum loves reading. He won’t be able to wait to get to the school library – especially if he sees a Mr Men book!

“Callum is always smiling.

Despite what he’s been through, nothing seems to get him down.

“Callum ‘high fived’ his consultant last week and said ‘thank you for fixing me, Dr Patel!’ “I know it will be emotional dropping him off for his first day, but it will also be one of the proudest moments of my life.”

Callum is known as the “Kings Miracle” because he is the most premature baby CDH to survive at Kings College Hospital in London, where he spent the first eight months of his life.

Faye and husband Carl, from Stanford-le-Hope, recently had a baby daughter Sophia.

“Callum adores his little sister and since she came along, he’s been trying to do more things for himself,” said Faye.

“For so long Callum needed every bit of my attention and we didn’t consider having another baby. Nowwe feel so blessed that he is making such progress.”

Callum’s family have been working to raise funds and awareness for CDH.

“The condition is as common as cystic fibrosis and spina bifida, but not many people have heard of it,” said Faye.

“It’s lovely for us because Callum is a success, but you hear about so many who don’t survive and it is devastating – and that’s whywewant to do everything we can to help.”