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£579raised of £1,000 target by 26 supporters

Weʼre raising £1,000 to help raise funds to diagnose and treat Michael's debilitating, chronic illness.

20 days to go

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I am running 2018 miles in 2018 to help raise funds for my brother in law's (Michael) undiagnosed chronic illness which is ruining his and his families lives.

We would love any contribution you can give, every little helps!

Below is his story written by his wife Ruth:

On the 9th May 2017, our lives changed. Michael, a normal 32 year old man, my husband and father of our two little humans was struck down by chronic pain.

Our journey since then has been a long and difficult one. ….

We live in Aberdeenshire and have two children, Alba is 3 and Arran has just turned 1 year old. I am a Primary Teacher and at the start of the 2017 we were enjoying the first few months of being a new family of 4 and the love and chaos that brings.

We have since spent the last 8 months searching for answers for Michael’s debilitating pain in his chest. Michael had suffered with reflux symptoms as a young adult and in 2011 he had a Fundoplication operation for this at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Since then Michael has lived a normal life, although he did experience spells of severe IBS, what we presume was a side effect of the operation. On 9th May, Michael was driving home from work when he experienced a severe pain in his throat, which late moved to his chest. We called an ambulance and he was taken to A & E. Over the next few months Michael had 3 hospital admissions where tests were done to try and work out the cause of the symptoms. Michael has had an endoscopy, barium swallow test, manometry test, CT scan and ultrasound in Aberdeen. Michael’s consultant couldn’t see any obvious problems and on 7th September he decided to do exploratory surgery to hopefully find a cause. We were so hopeful that this would be the end of the pain. The surgeon decided to undo Michael's Fundoplication wrap but did not discover any problems. As the weeks went by and Michael recovered from surgery we were devastated to discover his original pain had not subsided. His day to day symptoms include; sharp shooting pains, constant dull pain, severe pain after eating, extreme weight loss and these have led to fainting spells to add to the mix!

Michael currently has no quality of life, he isn’t able to care for himself, let alone his children. He isn’t able to walk any further than around the house, meaning he requires a wheelchair for anything further. He isn’t able to prepare his own meals or go out for a walk. All things we take for granted. Michael has barely been able to hold, comfort, carry, or play with Arran in his short life so far. As a very active and equal husband and Father this has been horrendously frustrating and difficult for Michael.

We have spent months going to doctor’s appointments, hospital appointment, private consultations in Aberdeen and trying various diets including a puree diet for months.

We have recently been researching two illnesses which are both vascular related; MALS (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome) and SMAS (Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome. Last week we spent thousands of pounds travelling to London to see a private specialist and pay for a doppler ultra sound to try to gain a diagnosis. During that ultrasound the sonographer was unable to find the arteries needed to diagnose either of these conditions. He therefore needs further tests. While we can ask for these on the NHS, it is extremely slow and waiting time is months at a time for each test. We are very eager to get these tests carried out and get them sent to the specialist consultant in London who would be willing to look at them and possibly be able to diagnose an illness. These conditions are so specialist that Michael’s consultant in Aberdeen hadn’t heard of either of these. It is extremely important that a specialist looks at the imaging, as they know what to look for, they can be easily missed by a Doctor who has not seen these conditions before.

We are desperate to get our lives back to normal and give Michael relief from the constant pain and a better quality of life. It is extremely upsetting for me, as well as our extended family, watching Michael suffer in the way he is. Until a loved one is struck down by an illness, I don’t think we realise how precious our health is, our most priceless possession. Unfortunately we have had a frustratingly slow and extremely disappointing experience with the NHS, they are failing us, and it seems money talks. This money would ensure we could get Michael the tests he needs quickly, possibly within a couple of weeks and also our ultimate goal of some money towards treatment, although we do hope to use the NHS if we can as treatment could cost more than £10,000. Unfortunately our savings have now been spent on the testing and consultation we have already had to get privately. Michael has been out of work since May. I have just returned to work in October after being on maternity leave and will be paying for childcare as Michael is unable to care for them. Michael is desperate to be fit and well, back to work, socialising with friends and spending time with his children playing on the floor and throwing them in the air. Alba is so aware of her Daddy’s illness and constantly talks about what Daddy will do when he’s all better, draws Daddy's sore bits and tells family nembers they have to be careful around him. I wish I could give her some positive news.

This is our last resort.

We miss the real Michael and Daddy.

We are all too aware of how valuable every penny is and therefore would be hugely grateful for anything anyone can give no matter how small.

Thank you.

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Andrew Simpson

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    1 year ago

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    Page last updated on: 4/23/2018 11:40 AM



    • Mark Calder

      Mark Calder

      Apr 23, 2018


    • Anna Gilbert

      Anna Gilbert

      Apr 21, 2018

    • Angela Walker

      Angela Walker

      Apr 20, 2018

      Go enjoy Andrew - lap up the atmosphere and all for a great cause.


    • Anonymous


      Apr 20, 2018

      Good luck and well done from an Amy being mum subscriber. X


    • Claire Aitken

      Claire Aitken

      Apr 20, 2018

      Good luck Andrew, we are all rooting for you! We will try and spot you on the telly! 😂Xxxx


    • Bernadette McCallum

      Bernadette McCallum

      Apr 20, 2018

      Good luck x


    • Claire Moore

      Claire Moore

      Apr 19, 2018

      Best of luck.


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    Andrew Simpson

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