By Kate Moore @kitmoore
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Videographer / director: Michael Catron
Producer: Kate Moore, Danny Baggott, Ruby Coote
Editor: Shiona Penrake
Nick – one of the smallest men in the world – has Microcephalic Osteodysplastic Primordial Dwarfism (MOPD2), a rare condition which has a short life expectancy and causes illnesses often associated with old age.
Defying all medical expectations, Nick has recently celebrated his 28th birthday with his nearest and dearest.
Nick’s mother Shelly was there by his side on the big day.
She told Truly: “We didn't even know that we would have him for 28 years and we don't know if we'll have him for 29.
“Nick has done everything more than the doctors could even imagine.
“They didn't think Nick would ever walk or talk.
“Everything that Nick has done had to be learned, whatever came easy for somebody else Nick had to try 500 times over to learn it.”
The party was hosted at a close family friend’s house, Patti Knick – who helps to look after Nick when Shelly is at work.
Patti spoke of her fondness of him: “He’s a charmer. I've known Nick for probably 20 plus years.
“He loves to talk to people, he's always flirting with somebody.
“Being around Nick can put everyday worries to the side, with his cheerful disposition.
“If you're ever having a bad day, he’ll come up with a joke or talk about something going on in his life and it puts everything into perspective.
“You don’t worry about much because you see Nick, and you see what he’s been through.”
Nick’s brothers Travis and Levi also attended the party.
They both tower over Nick at 6ft 5”.
Travis spoke about the importance of the occasion: “Celebrating Nick’s birthday is always a great thing, just celebrating his life and being here with us.”
Despite the happy celebrations, Shelly spoke about the emotional toll that Nick’s health can take on her.
She said: “He’s had a difficult medical background, undergoing back surgery for scoliosis and three major brain surgeries.
“I worry about the future every day, I really do.
“I worry about a small cold that might end up with something worse.”
Nick’s condition causes him to have a childlike mentality, and Shelly spoke about how this has guarded him from some of the emotional pain of his condition.
“He doesn't really have a sense of time; he doesn't really have a sense of forever,” she added.
“In that way, it has protected him to be able to be joyful and not have to worry about what's going to happen.”
Shelly cherishes the time she has with Nick and sees the positive side of his young mentality, as it has helped keep their close bond.
She said: “Nick will always be in my nest; I will always be his mama bear and always have that mama role.
“It's like having that boy that never grew up, it's a beautiful child to have.”
After undergoing life-changing procedures, Shelly is hopeful for Nick’s future.
“Nick’s medical future is really good, he's healthy.
“We are staying on top of everything that we can.
“Having Nick has changed my life.
“He is happy, he's loving - you have never felt a love like Nick’s love.”