A teen boy who has eaten nothing but sausage for his entire live has been cured of his bizarre food phobia after being hypnotised over FaceTime.
Ben Simpson, 15, would refuse to eat anything other than Richmond sausages washed down with a glass of water.
His mum, Wendy Hughes, 55, said he developed a fear of food when she tried to move him onto solid food as a baby.
Since then, she has forked out £60 a month on bangers every month for her son as Ben goes through four every meal, equivalent to 16 sausages a day.
Frustrated Wendy became so concerned about her son, she turned to cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy to try to cure him.
She said: "When he was a baby I weaned him off the bottles of milk and I started to feed him on solid food.
"I noticed that he wasn't eating what other children would eat. He would only eat finger food like chips and stuff like that. As he got older, he would stick to sausages.
"When he went to parties in school, the children's parents hired somewhere and then they would go out for food. All the other children would happily tuck into the food, except Ben. He would just sit there crying or he would refuse to go in where the food was.
"It was sausages all the time. Specifically, Richmond sausages and they have to be skinless. He sometimes has chips or waffles but there always has to be sausages.
"He doesn't eat sweets or chocolate. He doesn't have fizzy drinks, just water."
Mum-of-one Wendy, an Amazon warehouse worker from Swansea, said: "For each meal, I give him about four or five sausages. They come in packs of 16 and we go through a few of those a week. I get fed up with buying them.
“It is frustrating. Sometimes you just think 'oh god will you just eat it' but then Ben gets upset and teary. You have to have a lot of patience."
At her wits end, the mum said she knew she had to "try something different" as Ben was always complaining about how tired he was.
It was then that she came across David Kilmurry on Facebook, a hypnotherapist, who called Ben on FaceTime.
She admitted she "didn’t think it would work" but the situation has gotten a lot better, and Ben is willing to try new food.
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Wendy said: "I knew I had to try something different. He is always moaning and complaining that he is tired.
"I came across David on Facebook after my friend suggested having Ben hypnotised.
"Because we live in Swansea and David is in Coventry, we did it all over FaceTime.
"We had one session which was about two hours and then we did a follow-up appointment and that was it.
"I didn't think it would work as Ben wouldn't try any food at all. He wouldn't try a bite of anything.
"Now, if I give him something he will pop it straight into his mouth not before he asks me what it is.
"We are getting to the stage where he's not afraid to try things. Before, he just wouldn't at all. He would flat out refuse.
"Ben is 15 now and he can't eat this type of food forever. It's funny but there wasn't even any gravy or sauces. It was nothing but sausage.
"I have to say big thanks to David. Without him, I don't think we would have gotten anywhere."
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David, who lives in Coventry, and specialises in fussy eaters, said: "Bens mum Wendy initially contacted me as she was very worried about her son's health.
"They booked in during lockdown and were both initially sceptical. His phobia was extreme and it was a struggle enough to get him sat in front of the screen.
"She reached out as a last resort having been to GP's, specialists and nutritionists and left not knowing why her son wouldn't eat anything other than Richmond sausages.
"I knew straight away he had ARFID and diagnosed him there and then.
"The World Health Organisation is the authority on eating disorders and Brand Specific Safe Foods is a pretty straightforward diagnosis of the food phobia.
"Following the online hypnotism, I have had video after video from Wendy elated that her son can now eat anything he wants.
"Yesterday, a video of him eating fish said to me that he's cured. He has responded to the hypnosis beautifully."
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