A RARE syndrome could hold the key to the numerous infections being contracted by Huncoat heart op baby Joshua Whittaker.
Joshua, of Bolton Avenue, beat the odds by surviving a high-risk 12-hour open heart operation just two weeks after he was born in April.
He was diagnosed with a rare condition in which the pulmonary artery, taking blood to the heart, and the aorta, moving blood away from the heart, do not separate properly.
And he has even been prescribed Viagra to open up his blood vessels.
Joshua’s mum Kim revealed that many babies with the same condition are carriers of the Di-George syndrome, which affects the immune system.
Kim, 26, explained: "They have tested him for cystic fibrosis, cleft palate and Down’s Syndrome but they’ve come back all-clear so now they’re checking to see if there’s another problem.
"They think there may be a thymus gland problem caused by some kind of chromosome that makes you have infections all the time.
"It would give us an answer as to why he is ill and his immune system is so low.
"It’s a shame that he’s always ill.
"At the moment he’s got bronchiolitis and he’s coughing a lot and has got a really sore throat."
Joshua is in and out of hospital on a weekly basis and will have to go under the knife again when he is two to insert a "balloon’’ into the two main arteries to his lungs, which have narrowed, and may require a further operation when he is 11 or 12.
Kim and Joshua’s father John have been grateful for the support of businesses, family and friends which have seen them raise £1,775 for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital through a fun night and raffle at Warton Stock Car Club, where John races.
Kim said: "I’d like to thank my mum and dad and my mum’s best friends Barbara and Lisa who organised the event. It’s been fantastic having all the support."