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Northern Ireland family talk of challenges of living with Parkinson's: We felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under our feet'

By Cate McCurry

The wife of a Co Down man suffering from Parkinson's has spoken about the challenges they face living with the condition.

Seamus McElroy lives with his wife Marie in their Newry home.

The 62-year-old was diagnosed with the incurable condition more than 20 years ago.

"It was a huge shock at the time," Marie said.

"Seamus had been back and forward to the doctors for different tests but when the consultant came straight out and said it was Parkinson's we couldn't believe it, and it took a long time to sink in.

"Seamus had always been very active and was only in his early 40s.

"He was a keen cyclist and would have regularly toured the Glens of Antrim on the bike."

Seamus was a lorry driver and when he told his employers about his condition his role changed, and he started to work in the storeroom.

Eventually his condition deteriorated and he had to give up work.

"Our household income went down by three-quarters," added Marie.

"It had a really big impact on us but we had to pull through. We felt like the rug had been pulled out from under our feet and it was a big struggle - still is."

Belfast Telegraph


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