The boy who can’t stop eating - mum fears he will eat himself to death

Always hungry: little Alfie, two, with mum Norma Mazeika
Always hungry: little Alfie, two, with mum Norma Mazeika

Mum Norma Mazeika fears her son Alfie could eat himself to death because a rare condition means he is constantly hungry.

The two-year-old suffers from Prader-Willi Syndrome which causes uncontrollable eating urges every minute of the day.

Alfie scours the bin looking for food and cannot be left alone with anything edible.

The tot was two days old when he was diagnosed with the condition, which means his brain does not receive a signal to say he is full.

Mrs Mazeika, 45, of Fairfax Crescent, Southowram, said it is a constant battle to keep his mind off the hunger and watch everything he eats.

“You can’t leave him alone with food. He would eat and eat. He would basically eat himself to death. He’s never full.

“He’s up during the night, crying with hunger.

“It’s heartwrenching, knowing he’s fighting for something you can’t give him. Feeding him is the most natural thing to do. I can’t comprehend that starving feeling he has 24/7.

“He’s started going in bins. We had some mouldy bread in the bin and he tried to get it out and I had to grab it off him.”

Alfie’s condition means he can be violent to those around him and he is learning sign language because he also can’t talk properly.

Mrs Mazeika said: “If we go past a cafe or anywhere where he sees people eating, it’s a big issue - he wants it. He signs ‘more, more’.”

“The doctor told me he will be a monster because he’ll want things he can’t have and his hunger is painful so he’ll fight us.

“He said we’ll have to lock the fridge and the kitchen in the future. He will be very violent as he gets older. It’s quite scary.”

Alfie started nursery two weeks ago where support workers watch him all the time.

Mrs Mazeika said he can’t play with kitchen or cooking-related toys and she even had to ask staff to cover a cupcake-patterned tablecloth.

Alfie eats his main meal on an evening with the rest of the family but tries to grab food off their plates.

His mum tries to give him low fat food and few carboyhydrates as the syndrome also means his metabolism is slow, so he doesn’t burn calories quickly.

She said: “Literally in the past two months, when I go to get him out of his seat after dinner, he’s started hitting me. He doesn’t want to finish.

“He is overweight now but he’s not obese. It’s going to be a battle to keep his weight down.”

Mrs Mazeika and her husband Kevin, 51, have organised a fund-raising evening to help boost the coffers and raise awarness of the charity Prader-Willi Syndrome Association UK.

It is a three-course meal curry night at Parmar Bar and Restaurant, Fern Street, Halifax on Monday October 17 at 7pm.

The meal costs £10, with £5 going to the charity.

To book a place contact the restaurant on 01422 648530.