Dad's desperate plea prompts lifetime supply of cups for boy with autism

The original Tommee Tippee cup used by autistic boy Ben Carter.

Story highlights

  • The boy would only drink from one sippy cup now out of production
  • Company tracks down original design, offers to make 500 replicas

(CNN)For Ben Carter, the beloved little blue cup wasn't just a drinking vessel -- it was a lifeline.

The 14-year-old, who has severe autism, has drunk from the distinctive two-handled cup since he was a toddler. He refuses to sip from anything else even after it resulted in more than one trip to the hospital due to dehydration.
So when Ben's father Marc Carter found the crucial sippy cup was wearing out, he launched a global plea.
    "These cups are not made anymore, the replacements are all new and fancy, we've tried them, Ben throws them at us," Carter said in a tweet, shared thousands of times.
    "Maybe you have one stuck at the back of a cupboard?" he asked.
    Such was his son's reliance on drinking from the cup that he'd twice been admitted to hospital with severe dehydration when without it, Carter said.
    "In all honesty we're really worried what will happen if it falls apart completely," said the concerned father from Devon, in the south west of England.

    Global reaction

    People around the world responded, offering blue s