A MUM whose son suffers from a rare birth defect has set up a support website – the first of its kind in the UK – to guide other parents.

George Bate, aged six, was born with amniotic band syndrome, which happens during pregnancy when the amniotic sack ruptures, releasing fibres that can bind the baby’s neck, hands, feet or umbilical cord.

This can cut off circulation, amputate limbs or in some cases lead to miscarriage.

In George’s case his fingers on both hands were fused together and he had no ends on a couple of his fingers and a tiny little finger.

One of his thumbs was missing the top half and he had a bobble on top of one of his other fingers. One of his big toes is missing and he has two tiny toes that grow out of each other.

Mum Joanne Robinson, aged 37, of Blakehill Drive, Great Sankey, said: “This is a rare condition and I couldn’t find any advice or information so I decided to set up the website because I would like people to become aware of this rare birth defect, share their experiences of it and ask questions.

“We have lived with this for six years and feel we can help other parents by offering practical advice.

“George is an inspiration to me and all those around him and the site will reflect this.”

After the birth of George, who has a sister, Phoebe Vernon, aged 16 months, he had several appointments with doctors and surgeons and it was decided they would operate when he was 12 months old.

During the procedure the bobble from the top of his finger was removed, allowing his fingers to be separated. A skin graft was taken from his thigh and was transferred to his palm.

Joanne, who lives with partner Richard Vernon, aged 33, added: “For months afterwards George had physio on his hands, at one of his appointments they had told me that they thought he may have trouble walking and he may also not be able to write.

“At 14 months old George took his first steps and I cried. This was the first time he would prove everyone wrong and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

“When George started nursery I was worried about other children making fun of him, but his friends just accept him for who he is.

“George is the most amazing little boy. He can walk, write, build Lego and loves rugby.

“He can do everything else a six-year-old can do.”

The website, Special Fingers, went live last month and contains information about George, who goes to Burtonwood Community Primary School, a forum and information about ABS.

To find out more go to special-fingers.co.uk.