A Burnside boy who has been left with severe health problems after contracting a brain infection last year says he’s hoping to get back to school.
Cameron Lindsay (12), was diagnosed with PANDAS (Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infection) in February 2014.
We have had tremendous support from friends and family and the local communityNatasha Lindsay
The rare condition, which triggers inflammation in the brain, has left him with serious mental and physical health problems.
Cameron’s mum, Natasha, said that her once outgoing, sporty son had been left “unrecognisable” by the disease.
However, after undergoing treatment at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and getting access to the right drugs to ease his symptoms, Cameron’s condition has improved considerably.
The keen golfer and cricketer, who had to leave school due to the severity of his illness, is now hopeful that his condition will improve to the point where he can return to Ballyclare High to start first form again.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to doing all the sports that I used to do and seeing all my friends again everyday,” he told the Times.
Natasha praised the “superb treatment” her son has received on the NHS, but stressed that the family are still hoping to raise enough money to take him to the USA for specialist treatment which could radically change his life.
“We do believe that if we can get Cameron to America we can get him on a treatment path. It will be a long treatment path, but it will essentially start to recover him,” she said.
The family, who are planning to set up a charity for children with PANDAS, have taken inspiration from an American boy called Sammy who has overcome the condition and has now graduated from university and started work for a major IT company.
“It will be a very long road for us, however we are feeling much stronger than we were last year. We have had tremendous support from friends and family and the local community, which really does help you get up out of bed in the morning knowing that there are many, many people out there supporting you and wishing you well,” Natasha continued.
“We were in a very, very dark, lonely, isolated place this time last year. And although we have a long journey ahead of us, we feel much stronger and ready for the battle.”
Meanwhile, Cameron’s family are continuing to raise funds for his future treatment.
They will be holding a gala fundraising evening at Theatre at The Mill on June 26.
The glitzy event will feature music from James Huish, Malachi Cush and other top acts to be confirmed.
For ticket information call the box office on 9034 0202 or log on to www.theatreatthemill.com
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