Top jockey opens up about sacrificing his career so his six-year-old son can live for ‘just one more day’ as he battles deadly and incurable disease

  •  Adrian Layt has moved his family north to help with son’s illness
  •  Jockey’s son Liam has a rare incurable genetic disorder 
  •  Liam is currently doing well and enjoying the warmer climate

Talented jockey Adrian Layt has opened up about his son’s debilitating illness and how he’s sacrificing his career so that the six-year-old can live longer – ‘even if it’s just for a day’.

Layt and his wife Caolina recently made the choice to pack up their lives in Sydney and relocate to Townsville in far north Queensland. 

The reason for the change is that the warmer climate helps their son Liam’s illness and quality of life.

Liam has a rare genetic disorder called Duchenne muscular dystrophy which causes a progressive loss of muscle function and predominantly affects young boys.

Veteran jockey Adrian Layt (pictured) has spoken about his son’s debilitating illness and how he’s putting his family first so that the six-year-old can live longer

Layt pictured competing at Royal Randwick Racecourse in 2021

Layt pictured competing at Royal Randwick Racecourse in 2021

‘I hope our move to Queensland prolongs Liam’s life, even if it’s just for a day. Because it will be a day more than we would have had with him,’ Adrian told News Corp.

‘Even if it just prolongs his mobility, it will have been worthwhile.

‘We went down to Brisbane last week for some tests and the specialists said everything was going OK.

‘The move to Townsville has been a good one and the specialists said to just keep doing whatever we are doing.

‘At the moment, Liam’s body is not breaking down and he is growing up pretty much like a normal kid, for now.

Liam’s brothers Rocko and Charlie have also settled into their new surroundings well and Liam is doing OK in Grade 1 at school.

‘The life expectancy for this varies, it just depends how the heart handles it,’ said Layt.

‘Usually people die from heart failure from it, because the heart is a muscle and it slowly weakens over time.

Layt says the more north has been a good one for his son, despite there not being much work around for himself

Layt says the more north has been a good one for his son, despite there not being much work around for himself

‘We have been told we are looking at (Liam living until) 25-30 years old, if he is lucky. It’s very hard to comprehend.’

Layt, who has ridden more than 630 winners in his career, unfortunately can’t find as much work in Townsville as he was getting in NSW, so he will be temporarily moving to Kembla Grange to ride for a month before then reuniting with his family.

Layt is telling his story so that other parents get their child checked out if they think something might be amiss. 

‘Liam kept falling over all the time and we just thought he was clumsy,’ Layt recalls.

‘The doctor did a few tests to see if they could highlight anything and then they sent off his bloods and they went through all the genetics.

‘When we found out, it was just terrible.

‘When we got the report back from the doctors, I was on my way to Tuncurry and I had a big cry.

‘My key message to others is that if you have got a little one who is slow to walk, or is forever clumsy, get them checked.

‘They say the earlier you get onto it, the better things can be and that’s because then you can cater for them at an early age.’