The parents of a four year-old Birmingham boy have praised doctors who twice saved their son's life.

Zubair Jamil was hit by a rare infection which meant he stopped breathing when he fell asleep.

Doctors at Heartlands Hospital had to revive the youngster on two occasions after he dozed off and his breathing halted.

They used state-of-art respiratory equipment to keep him alive as his body battled the infection.

Zubair is back at his home in Bowyer Road, Saltley, and his father and mother, Jamil and Mahroof, said he owed his life to the skills of the hospital doctors and nurses.

Jamil, aged 52, said: "He stopped breathing twice at the hospital and we were so worried."

Mahroof, aged 46, said: "He's a strong little character and he came through it thanks to the nurses, doctors and that machine."

Zubair was struck down recently by the infection which was stopping him breathing when he dropped off to sleep. It was complicated by a mystery muscle disorder which he has had almost from birth.

He was rushed to Heartlands where staff on the children's ward had to borrow special medical equipment from the respiratory department to keep him alive.

Paediatric play special-ist Christine Morrell said: "When he got tired or fell asleep his breathing became laboured and he would stop breathing.

"To overcome this problem, until Zubair's infection had cleared, he had to be put on non-invasive ventilation by a special machine."

Zubair, who attends Brays Special School in Sheldon and has eight brothers and sisters, is now well on the way to full recovery.

A local company has given £3,000 to ensure the ward where he was treated now has its own machine on hand for other children suffering similar infections. Kitts Green aluminium plate makers Alcoa decided to support the Heartlands paediatric unit two years ago.