Family's plea to help find cure for grandson's mystery illness

The family of a young man hit by a mystery illness which has left him barely able to talk today pleaded with medics to end his misery.

Saturday, 13th August 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 13th August 2016, 11:44 am
James Brennan has been waiting for test results since June from Blackpool Victoria Hospital

James Brennan, 23, has suffered countless seizures since the start of the year which has robbed him of his ability to work, drive or live independently.

The motorbike-enthusiast now struggles to even talk on some days and has been waiting for test results to come back for the past seven weeks.

James, from Cleveleys, a former production worker at Laleham Health and Beauty in Bradshaw Lane, Wesham, has been taken to Victoria Hospital’s A&E several times since first collapsing.

There he has undergone numerous scans and tests after being admitted, including an examination by a brain specialist who travelled up from Preston, to no avail.

He said: “I used to ride my motorbike and I can’t now. It was a big part of my life. I used it to get to work, and I used to go to concerts.

“I would even go riding for the day with friends, and we did the ride from Lytham to Whitby and back in one day.

“Now, unless someone is with me I can’t go anywhere.

“I couldn’t even go to Lytham Festival.”

Grandfather Martin Dale, of West Drive, Cleveleys, said: “Since January, we have just got nowhere. Nobody can tell us why he is having seizures, or how long it will last.

“We just feel like we are hitting a brick wall. I just can’t understand why it’s taking such a long time to get a diagnosis. What is happening could be permanent if it’s not dealt with quickly. The poor kid can’t do anything or go anywhere. His motorbike is in my back garden, he can’t use it.

“Somebody has to be with him because we don’t like him being on his own.”

The 68-year-old said doctors carried out an electroencephalogram (EEG) — a recording of brain activity — on Friday, June 16.

Small sensors were attached to James’s scalp to pick up on neurological signals, which were recorded on a machine and sent to be looked at by a doctor to see if they’re unusual.

But James, who was schooled at the now closed Collegiate High School in Blackpool, and his family are still waiting for the results Mr Dale added: “If it’s something he has to put up with, then we will have to do that, but we just want to know.”

A hospital spokesman said: “We welcome patient and public feedback and work hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive. While we cannot comment on Mr Brennan’s individual treatment because of data protection guidelines, we would advise he contact a member of our Patient Relations Team so that we can look into his concerns accordingly.”