A Northern Ireland mother of two has told how she had to rely on charity to pay for Christmas after her husband was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
Tammy Lines received a grant from the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) to help her cover the cost of gifts for her children after their dad was forced to give up work earlier this year.
Husband Stephen (47), who was diagnosed with the terminal condition less than two years ago, is now wheelchair-bound and his speech is also beginning to deteriorate.
Tammy, mum to eight-year-old Daisy and three-year-old Noah, explained: “It’s hard because you just don’t know what is around the corner or when things are going to happen.
“You can never plan ahead, that is one of the things that is so difficult about MND.
“Stephen was working up until February of this year but since then he has slowed down. He doesn’t have as much movement and he is in a wheelchair.
“It was devastating for Stephen when he had to give up work as he had worked his whole life, from he was 17, so to go from working five or six days a week to sitting in the house 24 hours a day has been very hard for him.
“In fact, it has actually been horrendous for him.”
Tammy (33) is speaking out as part of the MNDA’s MND Costs campaign, which highlights the financial stress being placed on families after a diagnosis.
There is no cure for MND and the average life expectancy of someone with the condition is between two and five years from the point of diagnosis. It progressively damages parts of the nervous system, affecting many vital actions including gripping, walking, talking, speaking, swallowing and breathing.