Austin Porter, whose Dad serves in the British Army, has been named ‘Little Trooper of the Month’ after a challenging start to life in the past three years. Austin was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis at birth which causes him pain every day and means he cannot digest food without the help of a gastrostomy tube. He has been in and out of hospital for surgery since he was born, often without his Dad by his side because his Dad has been deployed overseas every year for the past six years, and each time he has been away it has been for six months at a time. He is also often sent away on additional military exercises and courses and the family have moved home twice since Austin was born due to military commitments.
Austin lives with his Mum, Dad and older sister MJ (7). His Mum nominated him for the Little Troopers award and says: “Both my children are amazing but I nominated Austin for the award for being the most resilient toughest little cookie ever. He’s been through so much and he’s only three! What he’s been through would be tough for any child, but it’s been especially hard being a military child and not having Daddy around to help and support us through some of the toughest moments. It’s also been difficult to get Austin the continuity of care he needs whilst moving home twice to difference areas of the country. Through everything, Austin keeps his sense of humour and cheeky personality and is always making us smile and laugh. He’s incredibly resilient and we are so proud of our little trooper.”
Austin will now receive a special medal from Little Troopers, along with a £50 gift voucher and certificate.
Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, adds: “Having your parent sent on consecutive overseas deployments would be a really hard experience for any military child, but to be dealing with a chronic health condition on top of this must have been especially difficult for Austin and his family. At just three, Austin sounds like one of the most resilient, brave and kind little troopers out there and we hope that he wears his medal with pride and it helps him to see just how special we all think he is.”