Billy Arnold, centre, celebrating his 16th birthday with family and friends. Picture by Peter Boam.
A BOY who defied doctors’ predictions he would never walk or talk celebrated his 16th birthday on Sunday with a prom.
Billy Arnold, of Shamblers Road, Cowes — who was born at Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton, with a host of health problems including one kidney, kidney failure, a hole in the heart and bone conditions — marked his landmark birthday with a disco and magic show for friends and family at the Riverside Centre.
His mother, Lisa, 35, said: "It was lovely getting to see him enjoy himself. I was a young mum when I had Billy and doctors said he’d never walk and talk but he’s come such a long way.
"His speech was delayed and he has quite poor mobility but he got there. He gets very tired but if you put music on it really lifts him and he dances away."
Billy has two younger brothers, Danny, seven, and Bradley, five, who Lisa says are brilliant with their big brother and very understanding of his needs. Danny is a member of the YMCA Isle of Wight young carers.
Lisa said: "Billy started walking and talking at the age of seven. When we had Danny, Billy’s speech suddenly became clearer and it was like Danny had shone a light on him and gave him an 'oomph’ and he realised he was a big brother."
Billy, who attends St George’s School, Newport, took to the microphone at his party to thank everyone for coming.
Lisa said: "Seeing him give a speech was so touching. Billy is a big inspiration. He’s my world and I am so proud to be his mum."