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A boy born with a tongue four times too big for his mouth faces surgery as doctors fight against the clock to stop the ever-growing organ.

Three-year-old Owen suffers from a rare disease called Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS), a condition that affects one in 15,000 babies.

His mum Theresa Thomas wants to help other families by sharing his incredible story.

Doctors first thought Owen’s tongue was “just a little swollen” but further tests revealed that the organ was obstructing the child’s airway.

Owen underwent a lengthy surgery to remove two inches from his tongue so that it didn’t take up his entire mouth cavity.

Despite the surgery, Owen’s tongue continues to grow and doctors are now trying to find a way to slow the growth before it’s too late.

Theresa, 30, from Pennsylvania, US, received the diagnosis for her toddler in 2018, just two weeks after he was born.

“Owen was officially diagnosed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia by their BWS genetics team,” Theresa, who owns a small business, said.

“I knew in my heart that this is how Owen was made and that he had BWS but even though I knew it, it didn’t make the official diagnosis any easier.

“I remember feeling sick to my stomach and I almost vomited at the appointment.

“Before Owen, I had never heard of his syndrome. Even doctors I worked with at the time have never heard of it.

“The syndrome was discovered in the 1960s so there is still so much they don’t know.”

Barring a few scans that showed her son was measuring extremely large, Theresa experienced an otherwise normal pregnancy.

Owen was born on 7 February 2018 and weighed just under 12 pounds.

She said: “He was born via C-section, because he was so large they had a difficult time controlling my bleeding.

“My umbilical cord and placenta were also much larger than normal. I wound up losing a lot of blood during delivery and became anaemic.

“His tongue was enlarged at birth and they brushed it off and said they thought it was swollen.

“But my nurse told me that I should push the issue and the doctors started to investigate whether he had signs of BWS.”

Owen was allowed back home but Theresa and her husband were forced to use a breathing apparatus to monitor him at all times – the results of which spurred plastic surgeons into taking action.

The mum said: “In the beginning, I basically didn’t sleep.

“Luckily, while we waited for him to see plastic surgery, we purchased the owlet sock to monitor his oxygen levels while he slept.

“I am so thankful we bought that little device. It alarmed me a few times telling us he wasn’t getting enough oxygen while he slept.

“It saved his life on multiple occasions.”

Following the initial operation, Owen spent 10 days in hospital.

The experience was tough for his parents, who coped in different ways – which caused issues in their marriage.

The future for children battling BWS is uncertain, which has also left Theresa feeling anxious at times.

Theresa said: “The recovery was probably harder on me and my husband Mike than it was for Owen.

“We had very different ways of dealing with it.

“He handled it by acting like everything was fine, which was difficult for me so we had a lot of arguments in the beginning.

“However, over time we grew and learned how to communicate and be there for one another despite the fact that we handled his disease differently.

“I’ve felt helpless at times. You never want to see your child going through pain.

“It’s one of the worst things to witness as a mother, however, I have learned so much about the strength our son possesses.

“It’s truly amazing to see how much he accomplishes every day.

Theresa and Mike with their sons Owen and his older brother Michael (Image: Jam Press/@largerthanbws)

“Once they took Owens breathing tube out he ate like a champ from his bottle and never acted like he was in any pain.

“His stitches took a few weeks to completely dissolve.

“Before the operation, his tongue was always out of his mouth.

“So many times he would stop breathing in his sleep and choke so hard he would vomit.”

To make matters worse, Owen is at risk of developing cancer as a result of his condition.

She said: “BWS is a watch-and-wait syndrome.

“Every child is different and is affected in different ways.

“Owen does have an increased risk of developing cancer so he is screened by ultrasound and blood work every three months.

“His type of BWS (UPD) means his tongue continues to grow.

“This has been something that has been really hard for us to stomach because we see it getting bigger.

“We will meet with his plastic surgeon in the summer to discuss what they feel is the best plan for him.”

Despite this major setback, Owen is steps ahead when it comes to his speech, having worked alongside a speech therapist.

Theresa said: “I always make sure not to treat him any differently than I would our other son Michael, who is six.

“Owens’s tongue affects his speech, as well as his eating. He has been in speech therapy very early on, which has helped so much, and also had feeding therapy to help him navigate eating solids.

“He drools more than most kids and in the summer we have to try to have him wear a hat when in the sun because his tongue does actually get burnt, but other than that he is doing extremely well.

“He is so far ahead of where he should be.

Owen’s tongue affects his eating but speech therapy helps, his mum said (Image: Jam Press/@largerthanbws)

“We couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Theresa uses her personal experiences of BWS to advocate for those not offered the same level of support as her family has received.

The mum also has a blog about Owen and her family’s life with the rare disease, as well as co-hosts a podcast.

She added: “My hope for the future is that the standard of care for all BWS children will be universal.


A group of men from a small town in Putatan, Sabah were spooked to the core when they found a little boy cycling alone in the middle of a deserted road one night

In a series of videos uploaded by Facebook page My Sabah, one of the men can be heard giving directions to his friends in a car to the junction where he first saw the strange sight but did not dare approach the boy alone.

“Do you think this is paranormal?” one of his friends asked, to which he unconvincingly replied, “I swear it was a little boy. I swear. I’m not lying.”

In the next video, when they indeed found the boy cycling alone, without a parent or guardian in sight, they all stayed in the car

The man who first found the boy rolled down the window and shouted desperately at the child, “If you’re human, please stop!”

However, the videos show that the boy strangely did not respond and continued to cycle – without even turning his head back to acknowledge him.

Although initially afraid of the ‘ghost’, the men stopped joking and got down to keep an eye on the child, while the rest quickly reported the situation to the police station

Penampang district police chief DSP Mohd Haris Ibrahim told New Straits Times that Putatan police station did receive a report from a group of residents of a boy wandering alone at 3am last Wednesday, 30 December.

“My men, who were on duty, rushed to the scene immediately upon receiving the information and indeed found the boy there. The boy was brought back to the police station,” he said.

As they arrived at the police station, Haris said the boy’s worried mother also turned up

The police chief said the mother had also just realised that her son was missing from their family home and she had gone to the station to ask the police for help.

The mother also explained to the police that her four-year-old son has autism.


A 42-year-old Nigerian man has been arrested for allegedly throwing his stepgrandson from a third-floor apartment in Danau Kota, Setapak, killing the four-year-old boy in the act

According to New Straits Times, the incident happened at about 7.40am yesterday, 29 November.

Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department head SAC Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abd Hamid said the police believe that the man threw the child out of a window following a fight in the family.

“Preliminary investigation found that the 42-year-old suspect tried to rape his stepdaughter who was sleeping in the living room, but was stopped by his wife and other stepchildren,” said Nik Ros Azhan.

“The victim’s stepchildren aged between 19 and 29 years old tried to stop him. The suspect then became furious and began striking the others in the house.”

He said the suspect acted out of control when the latter saw his stepchildren screaming for help.

It was at the moment that the suspect lifted his four-year-old stepgrandson and flung him out of a window in the main room of the apartment.

The suspect then proceeded to escape by jumping through the same window, but he was injured upon landing

He was later detained by security guards and members of the public at the scene.

The Star reported that the man was living with his 49-year-old Malaysian wife and their child, four stepchildren, and the stepgrandson.

Nik Ros Azhan said the suspect also assailed his family members, which led to the wife screaming for help from neighbours to save herself and her children.

24-year-old Idayu Ismail was among the neighbours who heard the cries of help. When she opened her door to see what was happening, she saw the wife was unclothed and covered in blood, reported Bernama.

Following that, she immediately called the police.

Meanwhile, another neighbour said his sister helped cover up the body of the victim and was told that the grandson was still in the house.

However, soon after that, Idayu said she heard something thumping onto the ground from her ground-floor apartment — which turned out to be the body of the grandson.

A witness at the scene showed reporters a staircase in the building that was covered with a trail of blood from the third floor all the way to the ground floor

The Star reported the person as saying that the blood is believed to have come from injuries sustained by the family members as they fled.

One neighbour told the English daily that she had never heard the family fight before, adding that the family was warm and friendly whenever they interacted with her.

Other residents expressed their shock and sorrow. Many of them said they knew the family and lamented the killing of the four-year-old boy.

Wangsa Maju police chief Supt Rajab Ahad Ismail said the victims had been sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment.

The case will be investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

Rajab urged all witnesses to come forward to the police to assist in the investigation.

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For most of us, the Movement Control Order (MCO) have indeed been kind, with most of us enjoying much-missed family time, experimenting with Dalgona coffee recipes and being a couch potato until MCO is over.

But what about those who are less fortunate than us? Those who work on daily salaries pre-MCO days that are now out of jobs?

This video of a Malaysian boy sharing his family’s story of not being able to eat for three days showed the story of what life was like for several unfortunate families that are seemingly forgotten by the reach of social media.

The story which was first shared by Mohd Zaki Bin Salleh on his Facebook account told the story of Krisnen and his family of five who was unable to eat for the past three days.

In the video, Krisnen mentions that his father has been unable to work which probably caused them to be in their current predicament of not being able to eat.

Adding that it has been three days since their last meal, the revelation of the hardship that Krisnen had to go to through was a fact of life for some Malaysians.

Here is what Zaki had to say.

“This is the reality of how things are. I stopped my car and along came Krisnen asking Uncle do have any food?. It has been three days since I’ve last eaten.”

“I asked him how many are there in your home? Krisnen mentioned that there were five. So I gave him five packets of rice with catfish and gravy.”

“I’m sure his family will enjoy their meal tonight.”

It is hard to imagine, that with an abundance of food made available for some of us in big cities and on social media, there are still fellow Malaysians out there that can barely put three square meals on the table during MCO.

For Mohd Zaki, who has been quite busy during MCO giving out alms to those in need, surely there are others out there who will be inspired to do more for our fellow Malaysians.


Yarraka Bayles from Brisbane took a video of her son, Quaden, who suffers from dwarfism, crying his eyes out and asking his mom to just kill him because he can’t stand the bullies anymore.

In the heartbreaking video, Quaden can be seen saying how he did nothing yet the bully called him the dumbest kid in class.

I just wanna die right now! I want someone to kill me!”

Just imagine what kind of torment this boy would have gone through everyday for him to be talking like this.  Yarraka explained how this happens almost every day, and this not only hurts her son but also hurts them as a family. Her sadness can clearly be felt through the video as she relates that she has to keep a constant eye on him due to multiple suicide attempts.

Comments of support and love poured in immediately after his mom posted the video and it’s uplifting to see some people still care and have some love in their heart.


A Choa Chu Kang resident was touched when she saw her 3-year-old neighbour offering a bag of goodies to SembCorp workers at about 11am on Friday (Jan 10).

Stomp contributor Suri contributed a video of what she saw and said: “Every day without fail, I would see the boy go downstairs with his aunty to say ‘hi’ to these SembCorp workers.

“We’ve been neighbours here at Block 758 Choa Chu Kang North 5 for about eight years and I noticed them doing this about six months ago.”

Suri told Stomp: “On this particular day, before they went downstairs, I heard the boy crying.

“I went to ask his aunty what happened and found out that he was actually sick for the past one week, so he wasn’t able to go say ‘hi’ to the SembCorp workers.

“The boy also wanted to give some bread to the men.

“I feel so proud of this boy because not every kid would do this.

“He said that he sees the SembCorp men as heroes who drive around in their trucks and clean rubbish for people.

“Most kids might find the garbage men smelly but this boy is special because he’s so appreciative.”


According to Sohu, the boy, identified as Lu Shijie, went home after school on November 14th. He was quiet and rather sad on that day as he was doing his homework. Later, his father received a text from Shijie’s teacher, who said that his son was not doing well in school.

So, the father went to talk to Shijie, who defended himself and said that the teacher was prejudiced against him. Apparently, on that day, he was playing with his classmates and it was his turn when his teacher came in. However, the teacher only reprimanded Shijie instead of everyone else, which was terribly unfair.

After telling his father about this, Shijie got very agitated and ran out of the house. His father chased after him but when they found Shijie, he was lying next to a half-empty bottle of pesticide that he had drank. Shijie was rushed to the hospital but sadly, after 24 hours of emergency treatment, he suffered from respiratory failure and passed away on November 15th at 9pm.

Shijie’s grieving father said that he was divorced from his wife, and he had sent Shijie to live with his grandparents at a farm. He needed to travel for work and their family did not have much money. Shijie was an introverted person who did not talk much about his problems with his family. He added that the teachers did not really care about his son, as he was not local and did not get good grades. 

He went to the school to talk to Shijie’s classmates and was shocked to find out that his late son was frequently bullied by his peers. Some of his so-called friends would tease him about being poor and this had been going on for the whole semester.

These bullies would laugh at his clothes and tease him about his grandfather coming to pick him up with a tricycle. They also made up terrible nicknames for Shijie’s family members to provoke him from time to time. When the teachers visited Shijie in the hospital, he got visibly agitated as well.

Meanwhile, the school denied rumours of bullying happening but refused to comment on the incident. They said that the matter was under police investigation and did not want to affect the investigation.


People yelling, car horns blaring — it was chaos outside a primary school in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, on Nov 14.

A tug-of-war match over a crying boy took place in a car at the end of the school day, causing a commotion and sparking discussion among concerned parents online.

In video clips posted on Facebook page Cyberjaya Info, a child was seen screaming for help as he struggled to climb out of the back seat of a black sedan.

But he was held in place by a man.

Hearing his cries, several passers-by rushed to his aid.

Insiden yang mencemaskan berlaku di hadapan Sekolah Kebangsaan Cyberjaya. Menurut saksi yang berada di tempat kejadian,…

Posted by Cyberjaya Info on Rabu, 13 November 2019

As the people inside the car tried to pull the door of the back seat shut, a few men were seen wrenching it open and attempting to pull the child out.

The woman in the front passenger seat was heard arguing with the passersby as they prevented her from taking the boy away.

A white SUV also blocked the black car from taking off, another clip filmed from overhead revealed.

In the video, numerous drivers were seen getting out of their cars to check out the commotion, while others sounded their horns as the stationary vehicles caused a jam on the road.

PHOTO: Facebook/Cyberjaya Info

Claiming to be the boy’s birth mother, the woman said that she was there to take him away with her.

She was also spotted holding up a handmade sign in Malay which read: “The birth mother should take her own child.”

According to China Press, the woman had given the boy up for adoption shortly after his birth.

She recently went to his school and tried to take him away following a dispute with his adoptive parents.

The police were called to the scene and detained the boy’s birth parents for questioning. They’re currently looking for two other suspects.

The child was returned to his adoptive parents who said he suffered bruises from the incident and added that he is recovering from the traumatic experience.


We often times see people sitting or lying on the streets and walk past them without a second glance, but what we don’t know is that many of these people have important stories to share.

This teacher saw a young boy sitting by a corner store and couldn’t help but wonder what he was doing there.

In a heartbreaking postMohd Fadli Salleh shared about how a 13-year-old boy lived on the streets without food or money, but managed to educate himself even though he has not gone to school since he was 9-years-old.

Seorang kanak-kanak selalu kelihatan tidur di lorong sahaja. Seorang insan baik hati, Kak Nooraini perasan anak…

Posted by Mohd Fadli Salleh on Jumaat, 8 November 2019

Mohd Fadli’s friend Nooraini had originally found the kid and invited him for a meal at McDonald’s, but after she barely slept that night thinking of the boy, she informed Fadli, who is a teacher, and he stepped in and met up with the boy.

He wrote, “This boy can always be seen sleeping in the alleys. After seeing how haggard he looked, Kak Nooraini invited him into McDonald’s for a meal and to ask him about his life. Kak Nooraini couldn’t sleep that night and told me about him, so without wasting any time, around 10:30am, I got some kids to look for him. 15 minutes later, they managed to find him and brought him to me.”

The teacher then realised that the boy was somewhat educated considering the way he had carried himself.

“The moment he sat down, I told him to order something to eat. At first, he said he was full. He rejected my offer with the utmost respect. But, I insisted and eventually, he gave in. He prayed before he ate. Such a good kid. He quickly cleared his plate, which shows how hungry he actually was,” he added.

He then decided to ask the boy about his life and found out that the boy’s mother had passed away when he was just 8-years-old. He had then moved to Kuala Lumpur with his stepfather at the age of 9, from Johor, and has not been to school since.

“I asked if he had an IC and a birth certificate, to which I was excited when I found out he had copies of both. He could go to school! I asked him if he could read. He nodded. I asked him to read the words on my shirt, he read it out smoothly. I asked him to tell the time on my analog clock, and he answered precisely. He knew basic mathematics,” he said.

Surprised by the boy, Fadli then found out that he has been teaching himself.

“Where did you learn all of this, I asked. He said he had been home-schooling himself. He even said home-schooling so accurately. His English!”

Fadli saw great potential in the boy and decided to investigate him a little further. It turns out that the boy was genuinely a good kid, he’s never stolen, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t hang out with hooligans. Which then begged the question, why was he living in the streets?

“I was going to contact his stepfather about schooling the boy, but he told me that his stepfather didn’t care whether he came home or not. He was a neglected child. I immediately told him that when he was hungry, he can come to this shop and order anything he wants to eat. I told him I didn’t mind if he came everyday, that I’d pay for him,” he noted.

The reason why Fadli took the boy underneath his wings is that he’s once been in the boy’s shoes before, when he didn’t have a single cent in his pockets, and he drank water from pipes while eating expired bread. Since then, he’s vowed to help anyone in need of a meal.

“As long as I’m here, as long as this shop stays open, and as long as I have the support of the people, they will never go hungry,” he added.


Baby boomers might seem to enjoy ragging on about how Gen Zs are permanently glued to their phones and never seem to leave the house, but these kids in Malaysia are proving them wrong by showing us just what it means to be wild, wet and free.

More specifically, they did it by turning a regular drain in their neighbourhood into a waterslide.

In a video posted on Facebook on Oct 13, several kids can be seen sitting in a large drain, “holding back” the flow of water as a smaller kid in red took his place at the very front. In one fell swoop, the children stand up, releasing the flood gates, and the kid in red shoots off with the currents.

He continues zipping down the drain for at least half a minute, at one point even disappearing from sight as the drain dips under the pavement, before emerging on the other side and stopping himself with the help of a pole.

Ni namanya Sunway Longkang!!Budak2 taman sy ni memang kreatif!! Teringat zaman dulu2.. Tengah2 hujan lebat ni la yang paling syokkk!!Balik rumah, kena pijak dengan mak.. Hahahaha!!???Lokasi Taman Idaman Kluang

Posted by Echan Al-Ikhsan on Ahad, 13 Oktober 2019

The video had almost 9,000 shares at the time of writing.

Though most netizens were impressed by the children’s sheer ingenuity and creativity, some couldn’t help but worry about the safety of such “joyrides”, pointing out just how dirty the drains were.

PHOTOS: Screengrab/Facebook

Echan, the man behind the camera, responded in the comments with a photo of the boy with the caption: “That kid in the red shirt… Thank god. Still doing okay… Don’t worry… His mother already chased him around the garden to whip him with a rubber pipe.”

Of course, it goes without saying that one should still exercise caution before diving into the nearest drain. After all, there have been cases of people getting injured or even dying after falling into drains.

And let’s not forget that that one time a 3.4-metre-long crocodile was spotted hanging out in one of our longkangs.