Invincible eight-year-old can't feel pain due to rare condition

05 May 2017

He has fractured his skull, ankles and feet, suffered second-degree burns, almost bitten through his tongue and finger and split open his head.

He has fractured his skull, ankles and feet, suffered second-degree burns, almost bitten through his tongue and finger and split open his head. 

But Tyler Resuggan did not feel a thing during any of those injuries.

The eight-year-old, from Birmingham, West Mids, was diagnosed with congenital insensitivity to pain – a genetic mutation that blocks pain sensors – at just one year's old.

In summary, Tyler cannot feel pain.

Read more: This doctor has a rare condition that lets him actually FEEL his patients’ pain

"We've told Tyler he's a real life superhero in a bid to help him understand his condition,” says mum Claire, who’s a nurse.

"He just bounces back from his injuries and doesn't even flinch.”

The condition, which is also known as congenital analgesia, is extremely rare and though it seems fascinating at first, causes more harm than good.

As a result of his condition, Tyler has fractured eight bones and has been to the ER 27 times.

“And I can count at least 13 scars on his head and face,” says the 33-year-old mother.

Initially, Tyler’s parents were suspected of intentionally harming their son when they first took him to the hospital with a fractured skull.

"Tyler was one year old when we took him to the hospital for an unexplained fractured skull. My husband and I were automatically accused of child abuse.

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"We were interrogated by police, doctors and social services for three weeks. Even the staff in the hospital stared at us accusingly.

"A doctor recognised that Tyler was biting into his own fingers. It was a common symptom of the condition.

"We were finally cleared after he was diagnosed with channelopathy -associated congenital insensitivity to pain.”

But even today, Claire still has to explain her son’s condition to paramedics whenever he has an injury because of the rarity of the condition.

“It is emotionally draining to have to tell medics about his condition every time. It really frustrates me.

"The doctor will ask Tyler if it hurts when he touches a spot and Tyler obviously doesn't know what he is talking about,” she says.

Read more: Extremely rare condition means this woman is temporarily paralysed every time she hears a loud noise

"Just recently Tyler went to a trampoline party and three weeks later we discover he had eight fractures in his foot and he had to be put in a cast.

"So much more damage was done by Tyler running around and jumping on his already fractured bones, as all of us were unaware of his injuries.

"I obviously didn't have a clue because Tyler didn't even know himself. He has no idea what pain feels like."


At home, Claire ensures that all the radiators are covered and foam is stuck onto all the furniture. At first, Tyler didn't realise banging himself onto things would result in an injury.

"Tyler appreciates not feeling pain the most when he is fighting with his older brother.

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"They can sometimes get quite aggressive and Tyler will be laughing on the floor because his big brother can't hurt him,” she jokes but adds that Tyler’s pain-free life is in actual fact life-threatening.

"Tyler's friends think it's a fascinating and some other people don't even believe us!

"People think it must be a great thing to not feel pain, but later in life, he might have an internal injury or appendicitis and he won't have a clue about it."

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