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Parents Vow To Carry On Fundraising After Son's Death

Thursday November 28 2013

We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley

A COUPLE have vowed to carry on fundraising for cystic fibrosis sufferers after their son died, aged just 26, from the disease.

Michael Blackett died on October 12 - just a few weeks before his parents organised a fundraising night at Elsecar Cricket Club.

He leaves a 17-month-old son, Corey-George.

Michael had been waiting for a lung transplant for 16 months but became too ill for the surgery, even if a donor had become available.

His mum Andrea, of Church Street, Elsecar, said it was the third time that Michael had hoped to have the transplant but things had gone wrong on each occasion.

"It was heartbreaking," she said. "We think the new lungs would have given him another ten years of life. I think of that every time I look at Corey-George."

Michael was diagnosed with the disease when he was two.

His mum Andrea, 52, said: "He looked like a famine child, with a bloated belly, and we learned later that cystic fibrosis means the body cannot absorb fat.

"The enzymes that you and I have got do not work in someone with the illness."

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder, which affects the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestines. It's a terminal disease and patients have to take large amounts of medication and have physiotherapy to clear their lungs - often several times a day.

Andrea added: "He had to have what we called his 'breakfast cocktail' of 27 tablets and towards the end he was on more than 100 tablets."

He also had three nebulisers, breathing masks, intravenous drugs and had to use a wheelchair.

His dad Neil, 54, even 'invented' a special rack for the chair so Michael could carry both oxygen and a ventilator, giving him more freedom.

Michael showed astonishing determination to have as normal a life as possible. Cystic fibrosis makes men infertile but he went on to marry his girlfriend Lyndsay and had Corey-George through IVF treatment.

Neil said: "Cystic fibrosis is the fastest growing genetic disease, yet many people know nothing about it.

"Michael would have wanted us to support all the people who helped him at the unit, especially his physio Charlotte Rose."

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Reply Posted by Jo on Thursday November 28 2013 at 11:35
RIP Michael.! Such a sad loss for all your family xx

Reply Posted by Mike on Thursday November 28 2013 at 11:36
I have a 28 year old twin brother with the same condition, my thoughts and prayers go out to Michael's family

Reply Posted by Me on Thursday November 28 2013 at 11:50
R.I.P michael. I have a neice with the same condition.

Reply Posted by Tracey on Thursday November 28 2013 at 11:52
R.I.P Michael , we didn't know you but i do know what you were going through on a daily basis . I have a daughter who has just gone 18 who has the same condition and it worries me sick that she can't see the disease is a very serious one and is all on to take her medication and nebulisers ! Can't make my mind up if it's just her way of blocking out her illness and no matter how much i remind her still she only takes them when she feels up to doing so. My heart goes out to the family of Michael , stay strong and i can only hope my daughter wakes up to just how important it is for her to prioritise her medication before her social life ! X

Reply Posted by Kim on Thursday November 28 2013 at 12:47
R.i.p Michael. I have a sister with the same condition she managed to get a double lung transplant and it gave her a new lease of life, but she is now starting to get ill again, I saw how ill she got before her transplant and it's devastating knowing she is going to get like again. My thoughts are with your family xxx

Reply Posted by emma on Monday December 2 2013 at 20:00
r.i.p Michael my son died at just 19 weeks old from cf and my cousin as it my thought are with your family and friends at this sad time xx