An 18-month-old baby boy, who has spent his whole life living in hospital due to a rare lung disease, may be going home in time for Christmas.

Little Arlo Newcombe has a form of child interstitial lung disease which has never before been seen in the UK, and has left him in need of a hospital ventilator.

But after showing signs of improvement, he has a chance to come home for the first time, albeit still on a ventilator.

Mum Chantal Newcombe, 37, of Chislehurst, said: “The minute he was born I said, ‘something doesn’t sound right’. Everybody said, ‘he’s fine.’ My husband Mike kept looking at me and he tried to reassure me but I kept saying, ‘something is wrong with his breathing.’

“Then someone came to take a look at him and within the hour he was sent away. We were terrified.

“At the time the unknown was unbearable. For six-and-a-half weeks we had no idea what was happening. It felt like a life time. Then we got the actual diagnosis."

Arlo was moved to King’s College Hospital, London, where he is a permanent resident of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Sadly there is no cure for the disease for which there have only been 200 documented cases in the world.

Chantal added: “We don’t know what the future holds. It doesn’t mean we won’t lose him at one time or another.

“It could end up with him getting a lung transplant, it could end up that he gets poorly and can’t handle it, or he could improve as he gets bigger and older, which is what he is doing at the moment, but we just can’t say. Nobody in the world knows.”

“But now he can come home, albeit on a ventilator. He has had a tracheostomy where you have tubing through your throat into your airway and he will be on a lot of oxygen. He will require a lot of care which is why we won’t be able to get out very much.”

"There is even a small chance he will come home before Christmas. It’s just unbelievable, it’s a dream."

Chantal’s friend Stacy Evans, 34, of Castlecombe Road, Mottingham, is running a marathon to help raise money for Arlo, his mums and dad, and siblings. There is a JustGiving page you can donate to here

Stacy and six other friends are running the Hampton Court half marathon on Feburary,18, 2018.

So far they have raised £745 of a £2,000 target.