Expert treatment in Hawaii ‘Andrew’s only hope’ from ME
THE family of an ill Makethill boy have launched a fund to send him to Hawaii for specialist life-enhancing treatment.
Andrew McGorrian-McMurdie (11) has been virtually bed-ridden for three years since he contracted ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) from a viral condition.
And his family say that when he is able to get up “on his best days for about three hours”, he is wheelchair bound and scarcely able to move.
With all efforts by the NHS appearing not be to working, his mother Jacqueline and father Trevor believe that his only hope is a two-months course of treatment at the Hawaiian clinic of world expert Dr Jamie Deckoff-Jones, who has treated herself and her daughter to bring their debilitating ME conditions under control.
The McGorrian-McMurdies - who live in remote Tyrone’s Ditches between Markethill and Poyntzpass - were put in touch with the doctor by ME sufferer Barbara Kell, from South Shields in England’s north-east, whom they met at a conference in Belfast last year.
Said Barbara, “When I saw Andrew being carried on his mother’s back out of the conference my heart went out to him. His young life is being wasted. My condition is serious and I am confined to a wheelchair, but it is not as serious as Andrew’s and I felt I had to do something.
“I follow Dr Jamie’s blog closely, and while there is no cure, she had improved the condition of many people to the point where they can live a useful life again. She, for example, was so bad they she had to quit practising, but now she’s running her clinic again, commuting from her home in Santa Fe to Hawaii regularly.”
Before ME struck, Andrew was known in and around Markethill as the local Billy Elliott, so active and entertaining was his solo dancing at various functions. He also loved football, basketball and hockey where his footwork was a great asset.
“But all that has stopped,” said mum Jacqueline. “Some days he sleeps around the clock, and on better days he can get out of bed and sit in the wheelchair for three or four hours.
“He’s had to leave school (St Peter’s Primary Cloughreagh) and has a tutor once a week when he can face it - Norman Glass is his tutor and is terrific, but it’s so restricted. Andrew loves war history, the Titanic story and planes.
“He’s due to go to Markethill High School next year and would love that. He has ambitions to join the Army. But there’s so little hope. We feel that Dr Jamie is his last hope. The NHS has virtually given up on him. They delivered a hospital bed this week, and we felt that an iPad would help his education, but they cost about £400 and funds won’t stretch to that.
“I have spoken to Dr Jamie on skype and am very encouraged by what she has told me. Her results are very positive and she believes she can improve Andrew’s life significantly. It’s heart-breaking watching a son we love, and who used to be so active, suffering like this.”
The six-to-eight weeks in Hawaii would cost thousands of pounds, with travel, accommodation and treatment all factored in. And fundraising efforts are being set up by Barbara in South Shields and Andrew’s family and friends at Tyrones Ditches.
The County Armagh contingent is setting up a sponsored bed-push from Newry to Armagh and a dinner-dance, both in May, as starters, while Barbara is organising coffee mornings, a coast-to-coast bike ride across the north of England and is trying to get the local football club Sunderland involved.
“This young life will have to be improved,” said Barbara. “Dr Jamie’s methods have been proven to work. She offers one-to-one treatment in Hawaii, with back-up treatment when Andrew returns home.”
Donations are through the Nationwide Building Society, account number 07024625740427.
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