Friday 18 January 2019

'He doesn't dwell on it' - Mum's pride at fearless James (12) who suffers from arthritis

James Casserly is a keen marathon runner and frame footballer
James Casserly is a keen marathon runner and frame footballer
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

James Casserly (12), from Lucan in Dublin, is one of 1,200 children in the country with juvenile arthritis.

The inspirational youngster was diagnosed three years ago - but hundreds of other children in pain are still enduring long delays to see a consultant paediatric rheumatologist.

Arthritis Ireland revealed the number of children and young people under 16 waiting more than a year to see a consultant paediatric rheumatologist increased 80pc in the 12 months since January 2017 from 302 to 543. At the end of this January, 902 were on the list, a 33pc increase.

Mum Vicki Casserly said: "When James was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, our world changed. Like any parent, we were so upset our little boy was in so much pain, multiple joints, pain that was unbearable that culminated in complete loss of movement and a long hospital stay.

"However, we quickly changed our focus, we formed acceptance of our new journey and put all our energy into moving forward. Our focus with James was on ability and having fun similar to that of any child his age, whilst we worried about the grown-up stuff, including the pain management side of things.

"This includes biologic therapy infusion, pain medications, additional vitamins, amongst other medicines.

"Life with arthritis for James varies day-to-day. He will often describe stiffness, hot joints, burning pain but he does not dwell on it.

"Like any 12-year-old, he is determined to live life to the full and sets himself challenges and goals he would like to achieve. James loves to play frame football with his local club, Esker Celtic. He is also an avid marathon runner. Again, finding a way to do things in an assisted wheelchair."

Irish Independent

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