The family of a Co Antrim boy suffering from a rare, life-changing brain condition has launched an appeal fund to bring him to the United States for treatment. Cameron Lindsay (12), from Burnside near Ballyclare, is the only person in Northern to be diagnosed with the condition PANDAS - Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptoccal Infections.
Normally the immune system produces antibodies to fight strep but in PANDAS the antibodies are misdirected to the brain as the strep cells are able to do molecular mimicry.
The antibodies then attack the brain cells and basal ganglia so the immune system turns on itself and the effect of the infection is brain inflammation.
Before Cameron was struck by PANDAS he was a straight-A student, was confident and articulate, excelled playing cricket and was a member of Larne Golf Club.
His mother Natasha explained: "A classic with PANDAS is a rapid onset, where literally overnight the child will take a brainstorm. We termed it as being like an earthquake."
Natasha has also been working with the Charities Commission to set up an official PANDAS NI charity.
"It will be a little bit down the road because obviously are priority is to get Cameron to America for treatment - but we want to have something in place to help other children coming behind - because we have been told there will be over children who take this condition," she said.
For more information visit http://thecameronlindsayappeal.weebly.com
Words by Gary Grattan
Credit: Belfast Telegraph