A 19-month-old child from North Balgowlah, New South Wales, has never eaten a thing since he was born and has a physical aversion to anything going near his mouth or face - not even allowing his parents to kiss him
Alex Tesoriero, who was born 11 weeks premature weighing just 437 grams, had the tubes keeping him alive and is fed through a tube directly into his stomach, making no progress despite his parents' desperate trials to make him eat something.
"Trying to get Alex to eat is the worst part of my day and everyone ends up in tears," the Daily Telegraph quoted Lisa, his mother, as saying.
"Just coming near his face is distressing for him and it's 100 per cent due to all the treatment that he has had.
"Alex has chronic lung disease and remained on oxygen for the first 12 months of his life, so he has always had tubes stuck to his face.
"When we try to feed him he either won't open his mouth or he'll just freak out," she stated.
Besides being born a premature baby, Alex spent the first five months of his life in hospital, where he was resuscitated three times, had 10 blood transfusions, and suffered a collapsed lung and fractured wrist along with undergoing an operation to repair an inguinal hernia.
Along with the psychological aversion to eating, Alex has other ongoing health issues as a result of his premature birth - he is behind developmentally, has just started to crawl and has chronic lung disease, which will affect him for life.
"Because it's a psychological problem and there is nothing physically wrong, each specialist sends us to the next specialist, who tells us to give it time," Lisa said.
"But it's been 12 months and he's getting smarter now. The more we force him to eat, the more aversive he is getting.
"He has never known hunger because he's been fed through a tube every two or four hours," she added.