He cannot see, hear, taste or balance properly.
But thanks to the legacy of a local charity, that hasn’t hindered Slaithwaite teen Jamie Thomas’ artistic aspirations.
The 17-year-old has the one-in-10,000 condition CHARGE syndrome, which affects his brain’s communication with the rest of his body.
Mum Carol Thomas has spoken out to raise the condition’s profile and to praise a local cause who have provided the tools he needs to express himself.
Hutchinson Deafblind Trust registered in 2009 after late Kirklees resident Sylvia Hutchinson, whose son John had been deaf and blind, passed away leaving a sum of money.
The charity help deafblind people like Jamie and their families across Yorkshire and, with Carol’s help, are holding an event later this month to launch a family support service.
Mum-of-two Carol, 56, who featured in the Examiner last month following a horse accident, said: “The worst thing about the condition was feeling like people were writing off your child.
“As a mother, you have all these hopes and dreams for them. It is devastating to feel like they can’t fulfill them.”
Talking about Hutchinson, Carol said: “They changed my life. Hutchinson gave us a grant to buy an iPad and computer to help Jamie communicate.
“It has also helped him express himself. He is very artistic and loves photography and uses the computer to edit his photos. He’s a clever boy trapped in a non-working body.”
Carol, who lives with husband Peter, 55, and Jamie’s 14-year-old brother Adam, currently works for Kirklees charity Parents of Children with Additional Needs (PCAN).
She added: “I decided to launch this family service because it’s so vital that deafblind children receive support from an early age.”
Meet young artist Jamie Thomas — who cannot see, hear, taste or balance
Carol has helped organise Hutchinson’s event at St John’s Catholic School for the Deaf in Boston Spa on June 25, which guest stars deafblind author and pioneer Jo Milne.
Charity trustee Vikki Pinder said: “We hope Jo will help inspire deafblind people. We are really looking forward to launching the family service.”
The event will be held at the school from 11am.