Birthday milestone for Leeds Children’s Hospital boy who wasn’t expected to survive

Matthew and Lyndsay Smith with their son, George.
Matthew and Lyndsay Smith with their son, George.

A BOY who wasn’t expected to survive beyond a few months old is set to celebrate his third birthday tomorrow thanks to doctors at Leeds Children’s Hospital.

George Smith spent the first eight months of his life in hospital as medics fought to keep him alive using high-tech ventilation equipment.

The youngster, from Beverley, East Yorkshire, was diagnosed with bronchial tracheal malacia - a condition where the walls of his airway were too soft and kept collapsing, causing him to repeatedly stop breathing and need resuscitating.

He was kept alive by a portable ventilator for 18 months before having a tracheostomy - where a tube was inserted into his windpipe.

Surgeons at Leeds Children’s Hospital will attempt to remove the tracheotomy for a third time on Thursday August 24 after it was deemed too unsafe to permanently remove it in two recent attempts.

The operation will be the 18th George has undergone.

His mother Lyndsay, 39, said George, who has three older brothers, was due to enjoy a birthday party tomorrow. (Sat August 19)

She said: “He wasn’t expected to survive and now he is a typical mischievous thee-year-old. He is a very happy little boy. It’s not nice taking him into hospital but the team at Leeds General Infirmary are the best.

“They have done everything they possible can for George and still are doing.”

George’s father Matthew, 44, and eldest brother Jack, 17, raised more than £1,700 for Leeds Children’s Hospital on a fundraising walk to thank doctors who saved George’s life.

They walked from Hull Royal Infirmary to Leeds General Infirmary in 22 hours last weekend.

Donations can still be made at