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