Mum’s con­di­tion is ‘cruel and in­cred­i­bly heart-break­ing’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Ai­dan Bar­low

A daugh­ter is rais­ing aware­ness of a heart-break­ing dis­ease af­ter her mother was di­ag­nosed with the con­di­tion three years ago.

Joanna Ir­win, 46, from Willes­bor­ough, has been high­light­ing the de­bil­i­tat­ing im­pact of Pro­gres­sive Supranu­clear Palsy (PSP), an in­cur­able con­di­tion which at­tacks brain cells, lead­ing to paral­y­sis.

Her 71-year-old mother who does not wish to be named was di­ag­nosed in 2013 and has been re­ceiv­ing care from the Pil­grims Hospice staff, so­cial ser­vices, and her family.

She said: “For my mother the dis­ease is now in the ad­vanced stages. It is a pro­gres­sive dis­ease which is cruel and in­cred­i­bly heart-break­ing to watch. We are all help­less.

“She has es­caped the ef­fects of de­men­tia but has most of the other symp­toms. For her, her brain works and she is aware of the world around her, but she is trapped in a body that will not co­op­er­ate.

“I want to raise aware­ness of PSP to help oth­ers spot symp­toms as there could be oth­ers out there who will be af­fected.”

Joanna, who works as a sec­re­tary at the North School in Es­sella Road, has now been to visit lo­cal GP surg­eries to hand in leaflets and in­for­ma­tion to raise aware­ness of the con­di­tion.

She also hopes to raise aware­ness of the PSP As­so­ci­a­tion, which sup­ports suf­fer­ers and their fam­i­lies, as well as funds re­search into the con­di­tion.

Her daugh­ter Jess has also taken up the ba­ton, us­ing her con­fir­ma­tion group at St Teresa’s Catholic Church to adopt the as­so­ci­a­tion as their char­ity. They have so far raised more than £1,000 as a group.

To f i nd out more about the char­ity visit www. psp as­so­ci­a­tion.org.uk

Joanna Ir­win with her mother

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