By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Created 12:24 PM on 11th April 2011
A two-year-old boy has become the only person in the world to be diagnosed with an extra strand in his DNA.
Brave Alfie Clamp was born blind and with severe disabilities, which led doctors to carry out various tests.
They revealed his seventh chromosome has an extra strand of material which has never been documented anywhere in the world before.
Doctors are baffled at his condition, which is so rare it does not have a name.
Baffling: Alfie Clamp, two, has an extra ‘arm’ on one of his chromosomes
Medics also have no idea whether his condition will improve or reduce his life expectancy.
Alfie, from Nuneaton, Warks., can now see and he will have an operation this month to fix an intestinal problem caused by his condition.
His parents Gemma and Richard Clamp only discovered something was wrong with their son after they first took him home.
Within days, he was rushed back to hospital after he stopped breathing and his lips turned blue.
Then when he was six weeks old, doctors discovered he had a rare abnormality in his DNA.
Mrs Clamp said: ‘When the doctors told us I was absolutely devastated. As a pregnant mum you spend nine months thinking about what it will be like when your baby takes their first step or claps their hands.
‘Having a boy like Alfie makes you appreciate the little things. He didn’t roll over until he was 18 months old, but we were so excited when he did.’
A microscopic image of human chromosomes. Little Alfie Clamp has an ‘extra arm’ on one of his, in what is believed to be a world first.
His condition left Alfie unable to see until he was three months old and his muscles were so weak he could not roll over on his own.
He still suffers serious digestive problems and needs a cocktail of drugs every day to help his body absorb vital nutrients.
He also suffers fits which sparked by high temperatures and metabolic problems stop him from eating or drinking.
Since he was born, Alfie has been rushed to hospital six times – including twice just last month – when he stopped breathing.
His parents even believed he was dying twice and were stunned when Alfie made a full recovery after spending time in hospital.
Mr and Mrs Clamp, who also have 10-year-old daughter Georgia who is perfectly healthy, had their DNA tested but were not carriers of the faulty gene.
Mr Clamp said: ‘The doctors told us there is nothing we could have done to prevent it. I don’t think we’ll ever know why it happened.
‘I was holding him in my arms and I could see his eyes start to focus on me. It was a massive milestone for us because we didn’t know if that would ever happen.
‘We even took a photograph of the two of us sat there, looking at each other. Having Alfie has changed our lives – everything revolves around him. But he is such a happy boy and he has brought a lot of joy to our lives.
‘Whenever we go to hospital, all the doctors and nurses say what a pleasure it is to see Alfie.’