The fridge in Hector Fernandez’s home is under lock and key.

The door to the kitchen, which is specially fitted, is also locked.

So are the cupboards and the medicine cabinet. Anywhere that contains anything remotely edible is guarded and the keys hidden under Hector’s pillow at night.

It’s not that Hector is paranoid about thieves. It’s because his son has the incurable genetic condition Prader-Willi syndrome.

Patients with the syndrome – named after the two researchers who discovered it in 1956 – suffer from an unrelenting, insatiable hunger.

Always hungry

Hector says that if unsupervised, his 18-year-old son, Christian, could, in effect, eat himself to death.

“The stories I could tell,” reflects Hector.

“Eating dog food from the bowl, going through the rubbish, emptying an entire tube

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