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  Six-year-old asthma boy to live at sea
Updated 26 May 2003, 13.20

An Italian couple have taken an extreme step to try and cure their son of asthma.

With a boat they built in their garden the Frascisco family have set sail for the Aeolian Islands, near Sicily where they will permanently live at sea.

Clean air

Fact File
Asthma facts
Ancient Greek and Chinese doctors knew about asthma
100 million people in the world have it
Attack happens when tubes carrying oxygen to lungs get narrow and inflamed
This causes difficulty in breathing
Dust can trigger the airways to tighten too
Their son, six-year-old Niky, suffers from a rare form of asthma.

It's hoped that the clean air at sea will improve his condition.

The family will cruise in the open sea, calling at ports only to refuel and buy food.

Virtual school

But being at sea doesn't mean that Niky will have the perfect excuse for missing school.

Niky will be linked by webcam and a satellite dish to a classroom computer at a school on one of the islands.

But unlike schoolchildren studying on land, Niky will have sunny skies and a sea breeze to make lessons that bit more enjoyable.

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