A SCHOOLBOY defied all the odds when he turned 13 yesterday.
Just a month before his first birthday, Zack Kerr suffered brain damage after he contracted a mysterious illness.
His mum Kristianne thought he had meningitis or measles after she noticed a rash and she took him to hospital.
After he started having fits and breathing difficulties, he was transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital but doctors could not determine what illness he had.
He spent nearly three months in hospital and doctors told Kristianne it was unlikely he would live into his teenage years.
But Zack, who lives in Howard Close, Accrington, has defied their expectations.
Kristianne, 32, described him as "a wonderful son".
She said: "He is a lovely little lad and his disabilities do not faze him. He is mad on Manchester United and loves wildlife and his little brother Connor, who is two."
Zack attends Ridgewood Community High School in Burnley which caters for pupils with special needs.
Full-time mum Kristianne said that when Zack first became ill she took things one day at a time as he suffered from regular fits, had to be fed through a tube and a drip and had no control over his limbs.
She said: "I just carried on and got on with it the best way I could. It wasn’t easy but as he got older things became better.
"He has already exceeded expectations and is in good health and well. We are all looking forward to his birthday."
Zack goes for regular check-ups and his life expectancy is still not known.
To celebrate his milestone birthday, Kristianne and Zack’s gran Gillian Howorth have organised a family party at the Poplar Club, Accrington.
Gillian said: "We are thrilled Zack is here to celebrate. We all love him dearly and want to make his 13th birthday very special."