Eight-month-old Santiago Mendoza might look like a happy, cuddly little tot – but the reality is that he is very sick.

Santiago, who weighs around 44 pounds — the equivalent of a 6-year-old child — has been ‘rescued’ from his family by Colombian health charity Chubby Hearts.

Volunteers from the foundation took the grossly obese infant away from his home in the north east city of Valledupar to a hospital in Bogota for urgent medical treatment.

The intervention came after his mother Eunice Fandino wrote to Chubby Hearts for help after Santiago became too heavy to take outside. Fandino blamed her own ‘‘ignorance’’ for Santiago’s weight gain and admitted she fed him every time he cried.

Santiago’s weight has landed him in the hospital on several occasions in the past. He is now being assessed by specialists.

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