Toddler, 2, devours three-tier wedding cake because genetic condition means he can”t stop eating
Stuffing his face with cake: Alfie Mazeika eats his way through the three-tier sponge at a wedding reception in July after wandering off from the other guests. His rare condition means that he is unable to help himself
Alfie Mazeika has Prader-Willi Syndrome which affects 1 in 20,000 peopleParents Norma and Kevin have to lock kitchen cupboards to stop the two-year-old eating himself to death
This hungry toddler wandered off from his parents and ate his way through a three-tiered wedding cake as it was about to be served at a wedding reception.
Alfie Mazeika”s parents Norma and Kevin discovered him scoffing down the sponge which was due to be served to around 100 guests as dessert at a working men”s club in Durham.
The two-year-old suffers from a rare genetic condition called Prader-Willi Syndrome which leaves him with an insatiable appetite because his brain is not able to recognise that he is full.
Norma, 45, and Kevin, 51, have to carefully monitor his food intake and have even put locks on the kitchen cupboards as left to his own devices he could potentially eat himself to death.
Mother-of-six Norma, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, said she was horrified when her son disappeared and she discovered him scoffing the cake.
“It was a friends” wedding. He was in his walking frame and he went missing, she said.
“He went walking off somewhere. I saidto my husband, “where has he gone” We went searching and there he was sat stuffing himself with wedding cake.
“He”d somehow got himself up on to theseat and then the table where the cake was. He completely destroyed it.You can”t do anything but laugh though because he”s not being naughty. He doesn”t understand.”
Norma found out that Alfie had Prader-Willi Syndrome after he was born eight weeks premature via emergency Caesarean.
Horror: Parents Norma, 45, and Kevin, 51, were embarrassed to discover that Alfie was eating the wedding cake. However, his mother Norma said her little boy cannot help himself. The couple have learnt sign language as they help him combat his disabilities
He also suffers speech and mobility problems and his parents have had to learn sign language to help him communicate.
Norma said: “We got given a sheet withall the symptoms on it and I started crying but Kevin was really good and said it doesn”t matter what he has, he”s our boy and we should be thankful that he”s here. That really helped having that support.
“He”s got a short tongue and a high pallet so we don”t know what we will be able to understand when he starts to speak sentences.”
Alfie has just started at nursery and his parents are worried that he will start taking food from the other children without realising that it is wrong.
Norma said: “As he gets older it will become more difficult to keep him away from food.
“He already knows where the cupboards with biscuits are so we have to put tags on the handles so he can”t open them.
Hungry: Alfie, 2, eats some raisins. He is affected by Prader-Willi Syndrome which hits just one in 20,000 people
“I have heard that a lot of Prader-Willis often take food from others, but again it”s not malicious -they don”t realise it”s wrong.
“He”s more demanding now because we have to watch him 24/7. We have to occupy his mind all the time. He always wants more, so I have to steer his mind away from food by distracting him.
“I have to do physio because he would just sit and do nothing so we have to motivate him to do something so that he builds up his muscles.”
Leigh Vallance, chief executive of the Prada-Willi Syndrome Association said that sufferers have a lot of difficulties keeping their weight under control.
“Prader-Willi is a very cruel syndrome- not only are you driven to eat but you require fewer calories, so in order to maintain a healthy weight you have to be quite strict.
“The condition comes with other complications. Often you will have severe learning difficulties. Some domanage to live with the challenges presented with the constant urge to eat, but it is a day-to-day battle.”