A teenager has been left blind and deaf after living off a diet of chips, crisps, and sausages.
His family, from Bristol, acknowledged something was wrong when he started to lose his hearing at 14 years old. His eyesight also quickly deteriorated and he has now been left with no job and no public activity therefore, his mom says. The lady, who asked not to be named, said her child started going off his meals when he was around seven years of age and would just eat chips, Pringles, hotdogs, processed ham, and white bread.
She said: “The first we knew about it was when he began coming home from primary school with his packed lunch untouched. I would make him nice sandwiches and put an apple or other fruit in and he wouldn’t eat any of it. His teachers became concerned too. His brother and sister have never stopped eating. They love everything. But he was just as fit and healthy as them. “He has always been skinny so we had no weight concerns. You hear about junk food and obesity all the time – but he was as thin as a rake.”
The adolescent, presently 19, experiences a dietary problem known as ARFID (avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder). Those experiencing the condition often avoid food with a certain texture, smell, taste or appearance, or only eat it at a certain temperature, according to eating disorder charity Beat. The teenager’s absence of nourishment seriously harmed his optic nerve, causing a condition known as nutritional optic neuropathy (NON).
His mother, who is in her 40s, further added: “We couldn’t believe it when we were told what had happened. “His sight went downhill very fast – to the point where he is now legally blind. “We are told the damage is irreversible; it’s been a nightmare. “He has no social life to speak of now. After leaving school he got into college to do a course in IT but he had to give it up because he could not see or hear anything.”