A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy rushed to his grandmother’s aid after she collapsed with a debilitating illness.
Grateful grandmother Lynn Hatch, from Bridport revealed Sebastian’s heroic actions and her daily struggles with the disease Myasthenia Gravis (MG) as part of Rare Disease Day tomorrow, February 28, a national awareness event for people who suffer from rare conditions.
Her grandson came to her rescue when Mrs Hatch, and her husband Tony made a routine visit to a local garden centre.
Mrs Hatch suffers from the incurable disease, which attacks and damages nerve signal reception areas severing communication between nerve and muscle, making routine tasks a daily struggle.
The disease is so rare only an estimated 10,000 people have it in the UK, though experts fear many people may go undiagnosed.
Mrs Hatch said: “I have had to teach my grandson, Sebastian, what to do in case I collapse, and he has seen me collapse a couple of times.
“Once, my husband Tony and I took Sebastian to a garden centre. I was feeling fine and Tony wandered off to look at something and I just collapsed, and there was nobody around me to help apart from Sebastian.
“He covered me in a blanket and went to find a lady who he brought back to help me, before they both went off to find Tony.
“I just thank God he kept calm and managed to find someone.”
Mrs Hatch was first diagnosed in 2007 after suffering from double vision, lack of strength and drooping eyelids.
Following numerous falls her GP referred her to an ophthalmologist who thought she had MG, and sent her back to the GP for tests.
Her GP laughed at the initial diagnosis and said he would ‘eat his hat’ if she had the illness, never having seen a case in his 30 years as a doctor.
Mrs Hatch said she didn’t blame the doctor for his reaction but has called for further training for GPs.
Mrs Hatch receives round-the-clock care from her family and is now on a daily cocktail of prescribed drugs.
Mrs Hatch said: “Your mind tells your body to do something but your body doesn’t get the message. It’s frightening, there is no warning, no twitching or anything like that and you just collapse. I’ve collapsed in the middle of roads, the middle of the street, it just happens.”
There is no known cure for the disease, even though sufferers can enter remission and recover.
She added: “I take each day as it comes. I try and keep going and do tasks in little short bursts to make sure I get it done.
“Sometimes, your body just shuts down, everything from your eyelids to your legs so you can’t make any plans.”
In another blow for the family, daughter Emma was also diagnosed, with the illness though she is now in remission.
For more information on Rare Disease Day and Myasthenia Gravis, contact Rita Goldthorp on firstname.lastname@example.org