Tuesday 27 June 2017

Grandfather realises he has motor neurone disease after watching Stephen Hawking biopic

Paul Whyley and his wife Jayne
Paul Whyley and his wife Jayne

David Kearns

A grandfather was left devastated after he self-diagnosed himself with motor neurone disease while watching the biopic ‘The Theory of Everything’.

Paul Whyley (62) is now being look after full time by his wife Jayne after doctors confirmed his symptoms were “unmistakable”.

“We went to see The Theory of Everything just two weeks before my diagnosis,” Mr Whyley told the Stourbridge News.

“They listed the symptoms and I thought ‘I’ve got all of them’ but I said nothing. It was a good film.”

Professor Stephen Hawking
Professor Stephen Hawking

The cinemagoer said he experienced an epiphany while watching the Oscar-winning film which chronicles the decline of Professor Stephen Hawking as he is diagnosed with motor neurone disease while at university.

The condition progressively damages parts of the nervous system until walking, speaking, swallowing and breathing becomes impossible

Mr Whyley said he silently ticked off all the signs of the disease as the plot about the famous scientist progressed.

The grandfather-of-four visited his doctor immediately after viewing the film and two weeks later, the diagnosis was confirmed by neurologists at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham.

Since his diagnosis in March, the condition of the 62-year-old has worsened, and he can no longer walk or feed himself.

"Over the last three months my husband has gone downhill so quickly,” Ms Whyley told the Stourbridge News.

“He can't walk, he can't use his right arm, and he has a machine to clear his lungs because he can't even cough for himself.

“It's a vile, evil disease. It's frightening and has come as such a shock to us.

“We'd got a normal life - everything was fine and we were both looking forward to retirement.

"But this has hit us so suddenly and now I am looking after Paul 24/7 and we don’t even have a downstairs bathroom."

Fundraising efforts have begun to try and purchase a stair lift, hoist and motorised wheelchair for the couple's home.

Donations can be made here.

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