STAMFORD - A Stamford man is making a miraculous recovery after doctors told him he would never eat again.

Derrick Bennett has been living off a feeding tube since 2013 but is now back in his own bed and eating on his own, just before his 28th birthday on Sunday.

Doctors diagnosed Bennett with neurofibromatosis, known as the elephant man's disease. The genetic disorder causes tumors to grow randomly throughout the body.

News 12 interviewed Bennett over 20 years ago when he was facing his first major operation on a growing tumor at the age of 6.

Bennett was diagnosed after he experienced blackouts when he was six months old.

"It's hard," he says. "I wish I was normal like other people."

Bennett says he is in and out of hospitals sporadically and that one thing that keeps him fighting is his dream to meet his favorite basketball player, Carmelo Anthony.