He was born premature and sickly, left behind in Thailand while his biological father, a convicted sex offender, took his healthy sister to Australia.
But the future seems bright for 'baby Gammy', the twin boy whose stunning surrogacy ordeal five years ago sparked thousands of headlines around the world.
Gammy is almost six-years-old, and a charity has bought the boy a $AUD130,000 home to live in, where he is said to be healthy, happy and growing.
Meanwhile, his father - who is raising Gammy's twin sister Pipah - has come forward to claim he is suffering from a potentially deadly illness.
David John Farnell is suing an asbestos manufacturer, after he allegedly breathed in poisonous fibres as an electrician in the late 70s and early 80s.
'Baby' Gammy no more: A recent photo of the little boy with Down Syndrome whose plight sparked thousands of headlines after he was left in Thailand while his healthy sister was taken to Australia
In a statement of claim filed at the West Australian Supreme Court, Mr Farnell, from Bunbury, south of Perth, claims he was exposed to the 'inhalation of asbestos dust and fibres' as a young tradesman.
As a result, Mr Farnell claims he has suffered 'asbestos related disease, mesothelioma and/or pleural disease, respiratory degeneration, pain, shock and psychological reaction'.
Mr Farnell is suing the asbestos supplier Amaca Pty Ltd (better known by the company's former name, James Hardie), the West Australian Insurance Commission and Alcoa, whose property he worked on.
The lawsuit, obtained by Daily Mail Australia, is the first public statement from Mr Farnell since the controversy surrounding his and wife Wendy's surrogacy ended a few years ago.How 'baby Gammy' sparked global controversy
Baby Gammy, as a young child
Mr and Mrs Farnell triggered a global furore in August 2014 when they were publicly - and unfairly - accused of 'abandoning' Gammy in Thailand.
The couple had been trying for a child for years. Wendy had ten IVF cycles without any luck.
Mr Farnell got the idea of a Thai surrogacy from a documentary. (Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia.)
He supplied his sperm to a South East Asian company and the couple were delighted to later learn surrogate Pattaramon 'Goy' Chanbua was pregnant with twins.
Gammy and his sister Pipah were born prematurely in December 2013. The boy had Down Syndrome and a congenital heart problem, and was critically ill at birth, but survived.
The couple took his healthy sister Pipah home, but Gammy remained with his biological mother. Much later, it was revealed