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Motor Neurone Sufferer Backs New Charter

Tuesday October 8 2013


We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley


A FATHER from Monk Bretton had never heard of motor neurone disease - until he was diagnosed with the terminal illness just over a year ago.

It has prompted sufferer Ian Pratt, 43, whose body is wasting away from the disease, to back a new charter calling for an end to ignorance about the disease.

Motor neurone disease leaves sufferers unable to move, walk, talk and eventually, breathe - destroying the cells that control movement.

Treatments are very limited and most patients are only expected to live between two to five years after diagnosis. Around half will die within 14 months.

Despite becoming progressively more ill, Ian, of Newhill Road, is throwing his support behind the Motor Neurone Disease Association's charter to raise awareness of the disease, which so far has been signed by about 12,000 people.

"I'd never even heard of it, so coming to terms with the disease is doubly hard as I have to explain what is, what it's going to do you and the speed at which it can take hold," said Ian, a former businessman and father to Georgiana, three.

"I can still move at the moment, but my body is wasting away. I've lost more than five stone since being diagnosed and it's starting to affect my confidence now.

"I can't go out anywhere in public without assistance."

As well as the physical and emotional strain on the family, the disease has also brought financial worries with Ian having to give up work and wind up his business.

Ian, who hails from Australia and moved to Barnsley in 2003, says the plan now is to live each day as it comes.

"We've got things that we want to do and we've been to Disneyland with Georgiana while I was still able to walk and wander around.

"Every day is just a matter of hoping today is going to be better than yesterday but the problem is the disease is unrelenting and constant.

"There won't be a cure in my lifetime, so this charter will make more and more people aware of the disease and what it can do to you. This can only be a good thing."

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Reply Posted by Russ on Tuesday October 8 2013 at 16:33
I was only made aware of the disease after I lost a loved one to it in 2001. It's a terribly relentless disease and I wish Ian luck in fulfilling his wishes.

Reply Posted by kev on Tuesday October 8 2013 at 18:08
My mum was diagnosed with motor neurone in july this year in rotherham, shes 73, a nurse told her it seems to strike about 5 or 6 people in one town in a close period of time then springs up elsewhere in a similar fashion. Its awful to see mum like this & i feel for you ian and any other sufferers too.

Reply Posted by muso on Tuesday October 8 2013 at 19:44
MNDA, South Yorkshire have opened a Barnsley Branch to support people with MND and at Wombwell WMC there is an Appeal fund run in the memory of one of their members who sadly passed away with this terrible disease.

Reply Posted by GT on Tuesday October 8 2013 at 20:50
the BRITISH RED CROSS help people through out Yorkshire check them out online or ring 01709879451 mention MNDA they will help all they can

Reply Posted by Ruth on Tuesday October 8 2013 at 22:45
My dad was diagnosed in 1986, he was in bdgh for weeks they did not know what was wrong with him. He was wasteing away so quick it was sole destroying. After a few weeks later we took our dad sam to pinderfields and within 3 days dr lasoo told us the worst mnd. Don revey was there with my dad who died with it too so ian my heart goes out to you i wish you all the luck also in fullfilling your wishes.