Owen Torti, a 23-month-old boy in Franklin, Tennessee, has to be fed every hour in order to stay healthy (video below).
The toddler has a rare genetic condition called LCHAD, which prevents some fatty acids (in digested food) from naturally breaking down to energy. This condition only affects one in 100,000 children, according to WKRN.
"He can't break down those stored fats like you and I can," Kayla, the boy's mother, told ABC News. "So he ends up running out of energy and his body starts breaking down his muscles. We take him to the hospital and they check that level of breakdown. They do a blood test that monitors and let's us know kind of how severe that is."
Kayla was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome during her pregnancy, which may be linked to LCHAD.
Owen, like most small children, has aversions to food and can be a fussy eater, but in his case that can be a life and death situation.
Owen's parents plan to enroll him in an intensive feeding program at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
The young couple have started a YouCaring.com fundraising page to raise funds for: "Past medical bills. Paying for formula that is not covered by insurance. The feeding program."