ADAM Ahmed, the little boy from Newport who is frightened of food, heads to Austria today for treatment his parents hope will free him from life on a feeding tube.

Last month, the Argus revealed how three-year-old Adam is restricted to a milk and water diet because gastroeophageal reflux disease, a distressing condition that can cause him to vomit more than 25 times a day, has made him afraid to eat.

Parents Ifthir and Jasmin Ahmed launched an appeal to raise £15,000 of the £25,000 required to take him to a clinic in Graz, Austria, for a course of non-invasive treatment lasting three to six weeks - which the NHS will not fund - in which children are weaned off their feeding tube and helped to overcome food phobias.

In a little over two months more than £8,000 has been raised, including several hundreds since Adam's story appeared, less than two weeks ago.

Mr Ahmed said the story has raised awareness of Adam's plight and helped give Jasmin and himself the confidence to book Adam into the clinic.

"We've had phenomenal support both before and since the article appeared and we're very, very grateful to everyone," said Mr Ahmed.

"After the NHS finally said no to funding about two-and-a-half months ago, we felt there was no other way but to try to raise the money.

"Since the story appeared we've had a lot of anonymous donations through the bank, £100s, £50s, several hundreds in all.

"It's been a really good response. We're going out on Sunday and treatment begins on Monday."

The Ahmeds aim to provide £10,000 of the £25,000 required, and Mr Ahmed believes fundraising for the remaining £15,000 is well on its way. A payment scheme has been agreed with the clinic, despite the full amount not having been raised yet.

Several thousands of pounds are still needed to reach the appeal target. Anyone wishing to help can find details at Adam's Facebook page, entitled Adam's Fund.

"We want to get him off his feeding tube before he starts school in September. It's a big challenge, but just making the decision to go now, feels like a burden lifted off our shoulders," said Mr Ahmed.

• The clinic in Austria offers intensive, personalised treatment, with children encouraged to play and experiment with food, with the aim of conquering their fear and becoming more confident around food.

The ethos is to avoid invasive procedures, and there is no force feeding. The centre claims a success rate of 97 per cent.