Bury St Edmunds: Eight year old boy speaks for the first time

Lucas Kirby with some of the medics who helped look after him

Lucas Kirby with some of the medics who helped look after him - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk mum has heard her child speak for the first time - eight years after he was born.

Lucas Kirby suffers from lissencephaly – a brain condition that causes disabilities including speech problems - and as a result, he had never spoken a single word. But that all changed earlier this month.

His mum, Tracie Kirby, from Bury St Edmunds recalled how it happened. She said: “I’d just fed Lucas his breakfast when he started coughing and struggling to breathe.

“He became unresponsive and stopped breathing so I called 999. The ambulance service was soon on scene, including a critical care doctor.”

What happened next astounded Tracie and everyone caring for Lucas.


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Volunteer doctor Andrew Mason, who attended Lucas on behalf of the charity Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS), said: “I walked over to little Lucas and introduced myself. When he repeated my name after me, I assumed that it was because his consciousness was improving.

“I told his mum this, only for her to say he couldn’t speak so he can’t have said my name. Again I introduced myself and the same thing happened, as clear as anything he said ‘Andy’. This time Tracie was there to witness it – and promptly burst into tears.”

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Everyone in the room was shocked to witness such a special moment. East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) paramedic Andrew Mascall, who was first on scene, said: “It was clear Lucas was quite unwell so we immediately started assessing and treating him. He was beginning to show signs of improvement when we clearly heard him say ‘Andy’.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a wonderful moment. It was amazing. Tracie was bawling her eyes out after hearing her son say his first word ever – though I think she was pretty miffed it wasn’t ‘mum’!”

Lucas, now nine, was taken to West Suffolk Hospital but was soon discharged and is doing well at home. He is yet to speak again, but for Tracie, knowing he has spoken and could well do so again is incredible.

She said: “As much as I wanted Lucas to be able to speak, I didn’t think he was capable. As soon as I heard him say ‘Andy’ I broke down and sobbed. It had been such a rollercoaster day; to go from having your son not breathing and being unresponsive, to doing something you never thought he’d be able to do was very special.”

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