“He Could Eat Himself to Death” The Reality of Prader-Willi Syndrome

September 8, 2015

A three-year-old boy with a rare genetic disorder has to be monitored constantly to stop him eating himself to death.

Geezer Buxton is one of a handful of youngsters in the country diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS).

It means Geezer wants to eat everything and doesn’t realise when he’s had enough.

His parents Michelle Sargeant, 45, and Craig Buxton, 41, keep kitchen cupboards locked to stop him searching for food and spend £200 a week on shopping for him.

Those suffering from PWS usually experience compulsive eating and an obsession with food usually begins before the age of six.

The toddler, named after Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, was diagnosed with PWS at three-weeks-old after doctors found him being floppy and unresponsive.

Today, Michelle and Craig, from Chesterton, in Staffordshire, said his insatiable appetite was a constant struggle.

Michelle, who has three other children with Craig, Storm, 17, Marley, 15, and six-year-old Hendrix, added: “Geezer is always hungry because of his condition.

“There are times he asks and cries for food so we have to manage that by distracting and consoling him.

“It is hard to explain to him he doesn’t need to eat anymore when he is so young.

“He is currently on a 1,100 calorie-controlled diet and he does get weighed every month at the hospital so we can keep an eye on his weight.

“He does ask “have I got any calories left today, mummy?’

“It probably costs us double in shopping budget as we have to get low-fat everything or foods with the right amount of sugar, fats and carbohydrates.

“It can be a very dangerous condition to have.

“It is a scary thought of him being on his own because he could one day eat so much that his stomach ruptures.

“He could eat himself to death.”

Dad Craig, who works as a barber, said: “Geezer’s older brother Hendrix is six but because he doesn’t have PWS, it is difficult juggling between the two.

“When Hendrix gets something out of the fridge to eat, Geezer is standing there screaming and crying because he wants to eat too.

“All his brain knows is that he’s constantly starving.

“We do know it is going to be harder as Geezer gets older and at the moment, it is hard to imagine how things are going to be in the future.

“However, the whole thing has bought us closer as a family.”

The rare condition affects one in every 15,000 children born in England every year.

The family has raised more than £4,100 so far to try and find a cure.

Susan Passmore, chief executive of the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association UK, said: “Life expectancy is a lot better now for people suffering with Prader-Willi – in the 1980s the expectancy was between 20-30-years-old compared to now when we don’t even give a life expectancy.

“Sufferers cannot be left on their own and they are counting down the minutes between when they eat.”


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