ETHAN Connolly likes to be treated like any other nine-year-old but his strength, courage and charisma makes him stand out.

He may be only weeks away from his 10th birthday but the St Vincent’s Primary School pupil, of Well Lane, Penketh, has visited more hospitals than most people will in their lifetime yet he’s still smiling.

Ethan, who was diagnosed with a lymphatic malformation shortly after he was born, has been through a lot over the last nine years but, with thanks to the generous donations from the public, family and friends, he has been able to receive the care and treatment he needs to help him live his life.

His mum Karen Connolly said: “He takes everything in his stride and doesn’t let it hold him back. He does street dance, football and karate and is always up for giving something a go.”

Ethan’s condition consists of cysts around his jaw line, air way and right eye, which have caused disfigurement to his face.

At four days old, Ethan was given a tracheotomy and has since endured a full cardiac and respiratory arrest, a punctured lung, numerous infections, two hospital super bugs and that’s without counting the operations he has had.

“Sometime he will go to bed and he is absolutely fine and then he will wake up and he will be in pain,” said Karen.

Every year, Ethan needs about three to four operations and has to travel to either Berlin or New York for them.

Karen said: “Due to the rarity and complexity of Ethan’s condition his doctors do not have the necessary experience to operate on him here.”

But the family is running out of funding to cover the cost of the operations as it is not covered by the NHS.

Ethan’s family plan to organise fundraisers throughout the year, kicking off with a summer ball on May 31 at The Halliwell Jones Stadium at 7.30pm.

For tickets or to donate prizes for the raffle e-mail To follow Ethan’s journey visit