The youngster had to rely on a feeding tube when his kidneys 'stopped working for the most part at 3 weeks old.'
Critical illnesses in newborns and children rob them of several experiences in life including the functions of their own bodies. A video going viral on Reddit this week shows a 5-year-old boy's heartwarming reaction to finally having "real food" for the first time after relying on a feeding tube for most of his life. In a video—shared by u/PaybackTony—the youngster is seen smiling, laughing and jumping with joy after finally being able to drink directly from a bottle. The text inlay in the video reads, "Make a Wish kid eats food for the first time." The Make-A-Wish foundation is a nonprofit that grants "life-changing wishes" for critically ill children to help them "believe that anything is possible and give them the strength to fight harder against their illnesses."
u/PaybackTony shared in a comment that the child in the video was their own and that the "video started right after he put macaroni in his mouth and washed it down with the Gatorade." They revealed that their son was born with kidney failure and "was on dialysis at the time" that the time that the video was captured. The boy's kidneys reportedly "stopped working for the most part at 3 weeks old" and although he could take formula, he "quickly stopped taking enough," u/PaybackTony explained. A feeding tube was installed and he was only able to take his essential nutrition through the tube.
"Kids with severe medical problems that start at or near birth often have something called an oral aversion where they refuse [to] put anything in their mouth," they added in the comment.
They further noted that although eating some macaroni and drinking Gatorade might not sound like a big deal, "we had worked for months toward this with the hospital OT and dietitians." Other Reddit users were extremely shocked when they got to know that the child had not consumed any food through his mouth all those years. One user wrote, "Is this the very first time he has any kind of food/ drink? I know it says in the title. But that’s crazy, inconceivable. What a feeling you guys must be working through. I hope cake [is] next on the agenda."
Another noted, "I'm sorry about the health issues your baby had had. His reaction is wonderful. It really puts into perspective what we all take for granted." Almost everyone who commented admitted they were extremely delighted to see the child's reaction upon having food for the first time. A Reddit user commented, "So so f**king beautiful, congratulations to you and your family. heartwarming video sending love to all of you." Another added, "The excitement in his voice broke my heart in two. In the best way."
The Reddit user revealed in another comment that the boy is now 14 years old and has a new kidney. Meanwhile, several people noted that the video is a reminder of how we all take simple things for granted. A user said, "He's a great reminder not to take anything we have in life for granted! I hope you have all the time in the world to spend together." Another added, "Love this! It's crazy the simple things we all take for granted, time for a taco kid! Those things will really blow your mind."