BRAVE little Sergio O'Connor has been smiling at his family from his hospital bed in Boston, where he remains five months after groundbreaking surgery.
The 19-month-old from Donneycarney, Dublin, was born with a rare condition which prevents him from eating, drinking or swallowing and with a 5cm gap between his oesophagus and stomach.
While his parents and his twin brother are in the States with him, members of his family in Ireland have been able to keep in contact with Skype and have been playing music to him.
He is being treated at the Children's Hospital in Boston to repair his oesophagus, and has already undergone several major operations, including one that lasted 10 hours.
His dad Donal, mum Rosa and twin Tadgh are all in Boston.
Donal is from a family of well-known traditional musicians.
"When we play music, he reacts. We were playing music and he smiled," his grandad Mick said.
"It's pioneering stuff. He is in the best place in the world," said Mick.
Mick told the Herald that the family is "very appreciative" of how good people were. "The goodwill has been overwhelming," he said.
Meanwhile, Donal has been keeping a blog so that people can find out how Sergio is doing.
Posting in recent days, he said that: "If one was to judge how well Sergio was merely by his playful mood then you would think that Sergio was doing great."
However, he said that little Sergio had had a number of episodes of vomiting and refluxing. But he has been doing well overall after all his procedures.
Earlier this month, Donal said: "Sergio's primary nurse Jenn has been so wonderful in taking excellent care of Sergio since April.
"All of Sergio's care nurses in ICU, especially Jenn, have been tremendous all along, showing such dedication to their jobs. We are very grateful to these professional people."
Donations can be made to the Sergio O'Connor Fund, Bank of Ireland, Killester, Dublin, Sort Code 900594, A/C No95647682.