A boy who has been battling life-threatening situations since birth has been hailed as an inspiration to others.
Adam Waters, of Box Lane, Boxmoor, was fed by tube for his first 10 years, didn’t taste chocolate until two years ago and has had a series of operations in his short life.
But incredibly 12-year-old Adam has maintained the positive outlook that has led his Hemel Hempstead School form tutor Leanne Ungaro to nominate him for a Mitsubishi Electric Young People of the Year award for determination in the face of adversity.
Leanne said: “He is always seen with a smile on his face which is instantly infectious. Adam is a charismatic, respectful and compassionate young man who will always make sure he thinks of others before himself.
“He is the first person to comfort someone if they are upset. He has a close friend with muscular dystrophy whom he looks out for and has helped him become more confident.
“Adam’s strength of character and his positivity sets an example, not only to his peers but also to adults many years older. He acts like any other lad and takes everything in his stride.”
Adam has suffered from rare congenital condition, Goldenhar Syndrome, which causes bone abnormalities, affecting the face, vertebrae and limbs.
He has had eight operations at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London since birth, including two on a hole in his heart, one spinal operation to reconstruct his vertebrae, two to rebuild his right arm, and two to rebuild his right ear.
Up to the age of five Adam had six instances of life-threatening respiratory infections which needed hospital treatment.
At less than seven months he went into full cardiac and respiratory failure after a severe lung infection. His heart stopped for a worrying 45 minutes before he was resuscitated.
He also had an operation because he could not eat without choking.
Adam’s dad Andy said his son accepts his lot in life and gets on with it. “He has a keen sense of right and wrong and will stand up for the underdog, particularly if he sees anybody bullied or mistreated.”
Adam said: “I have always felt positive. The only thing I moan about is homework – I just don’t want to do it! I just like helping when I see someone in trouble.”
A spokesman for Mitusbishi Electric said: “Adam has a brilliant take on life, not only accepting what it has dealt him and getting on with it, but going out of his way to help others.”
Adam is now in with a chance to win a cash prize out of a total of £2,000 to be given away to young people like him who go the extra mile to help others.
In addition to Mitsubishi Electric this year’s Herts YOPEY is supported by Watford firms Medtronic,and Vinci Construction UK, Orange Amplification of Borehamwood and Runwood Homes for the elderly.
To nominate someone for a YOPEY visit yopey.org or write, enclosing an SAE, to YOPEY, Woodfarm Cottage, Bury Road, Stradishall, Newmarket CB8 8YN for paper entry form. Entries close on July 31.