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Alex Is Diagnosed with Central Apnea in 7 Little Johnstons Sneak Peek

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The 7 Little Johnstons are back for a brand new season, and the family is forced to deal with some difficult news in their very first episode.

In a clip from Tuesday’s season premiere, Trent and Amber take their son Alex to the doctor where the 11-year-old is diagnosed with Central Apnea.

“My diagnosis for Alex is that he has Central Apnea, most likely caused from brain stem compression,” the doctor tells them.

“Obviously our anatomy is different than average size people,” explains Amber. “The base of our skull where the brain stem meets the spinal chord, the bone that surrounds that area is always extremely tight.”

The news comes just six months after Alex underwent surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids due to ongoing health issues.

“Our hope was that this was going to fix everything, however that has not been the case,” says Amber.

Their physician goes on to explain why Alex has been experiencing the reoccurring problem. “When this happens, the bottom of the skull, this narrowing puts pressure on the brain stem,” he says in the clip.

“When we need to breathe, this is what tells or body to take a breath,” he continues. “So when there is pressure on this area, it malfunctions.”

7 Little Johnstons premieres Tuesday, May 2 at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.