Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 15:37 UK

Boy is treated for rare condition

Hamish and Rachael Cumming
Hamish will now be able to lead a more active life

A six-year-old Scottish boy with a rare muscle condition has travelled to Derby to receive specialist treatment.

Hamish Cumming from Brechin, Angus, has Poland's Syndrome, which has left him with a lack of muscle in his chest.

He has spent eight days undergoing treatment at the Royal Derby Hospital to have muscle from his back transferred into his chest.

His mother Rachel said the treatment would enable him to play contact sports and get back into taekwondo.

Now he can play contact sports and get back into taekwondo
Rachael Cumming

His mother, Rachael, said: "We went to the plastics team in Dundee and were told that they weren't specialised enough to do the operation, but if we could find a surgeon that could do it they would make the referrals and transfer the funding.

"He will be able to lift his arm above his head which he hasn't been able to do for about a year."

The six-hour operation was performed by specialist surgeon Mr Chris Bainbridge on Wednesday.

He said: "One of the reasons he has come to Derby is because we have been doing procedures like this through endoscopes, which minimises the size of the scar.

"We have been using endoscopes for this type of operation for a couple of years and every time we do it the scar gets smaller and smaller."

Mrs Cumming managed to find the surgeon with the help of the Poland's Syndrome Support Group, which is based in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.

Lynn Farmer set up the group after being diagnosed with the condition at the age of 23.

She said the syndrome, which was originally discovered by Alfred Poland in the 1800s, was very rare and often goes undiagnosed.

"I set up the group to raise awareness of the condition and to support people going through a similar experience as I did," she said.

The syndrome affects one in 20,000 to 30,000 births.


The six-year-old boy from Scotland was treated in Derby

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