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A MUM celebrated her son’s first birthday with a visit to an aquarium despite being told he was unlikely to ever leave hospital.

Claire Noakes enjoyed a fun day out at Blue Reef in Southsea with little Abel.

Abel suffers from epilepsy as well as Leigh’s disease, a rare inherited neurometabolic disorder that affects the central nervous system.

Abel is now given a high-energy feed through a tube and he must have eight different tablets twice a day. Claire, who lives in Barton Stacey, near Winchester, said she was thrilled her son had come so far after a difficult first year.

She said: ‘We spent 18 weeks in intensive care with Abel and then out of nowhere he started to respond to the medication and he made a dramatic improvement.

‘Once the doctors were able to get his epileptic seizures under control we were able to take him home. No-one knows what the future holds for Abel but we are just so happy that he is here with us now.’