Saturday 27 December 2014

'Never say never' - Motor Neuron Disease will not stop award-winning writer Simon Fitzmaurice and wife Ruth having children

Freya Drohan

Published 17/06/2014 | 18:38

Simon Fitzmaurice, and inset, Simon and Ruth on their wedding day.

Ruth Fitzmaurice, wife of writer and director Simon, has revealed that her husband’s diagnosis with Motor Neuron Disease will not stop the couple having children.

The mum of five, who has had two children since Simon's diagnosis, has spoken about considering more children.

Simon was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) in 2008, when Ruth was pregnant with their third child.

The couple have five children altogether, with twins arriving four years after his diagnosis.

Though Ruth maintains that they do not have room for any more children, she will never say never:

“I’m kind of the, somebody hit me over the head with a frying pan because every time I see a little baby, I get very clucky. We don’t have any room left. We have a very small house. But never say never with me but Simon – I’m not going to answer that question, I’ll get myself in trouble,”  she told TV3’s Ireland AM.

Film Maker Stephen Fitzmaurice and his wife Ruth on their wedding day
Film Maker Stephen Fitzmaurice and his wife Ruth on their wedding day

The 'My Name Is Emily' writer Simon Fitzmaurice has still enjoyed a successful career and happy family life, though he is confined to a wheelchair and requires around-the-clock help.

The multi-award winner has spent the last few years penning a memoir titled 'It’s Not Yet Dark' which tells the story of his life, career, family, and struggles coping with MND.

Behind the lens: Simon Fitzmaurice was working as a filmmaker when he heard in 2008 he MND

Simon, who claims that 'life has surprisingly got better', writes and communicates using his eyes via an 'eye gaze' computer.

The idea for the book was a result of an emotional conversation between Simon and his wife:

“The reason that he started the book was he was in hospital and he was quite sick and I said to him, would he consider writing a letter to each of the children in case this was the end of the road...the book became a reflection of the past and how he feels about the children, and he put it all in there,” Ruth said.

Ruth also discussed the controversial subject of euthanasia, but is adamant that it is not an option:

“I can understand why people do. It’s a very personal choice and it’s a tough existence.

"You know, every day you have to make that choice about whether you’re going to get up and carry on," she continued.

"I don’t think anyone who makes that choice is any less brave than Simon, it’s just a different choice.”

'It’s Not Yet Dark' is out now, and Simon's film 'My Name Is Emily' will be released next year starring Jamie Nesbitt and Freddie Highmore.

Promoted articles

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in this section