Dad who thought he stumbled because of ‘pinched nerves’ made ‘devastating’ diagnosis

Chris Thurston, 42, from Wirral, Merseyside, thought he was suffering from a pinched nerve until doctors revealed it was an early sign of a devastating, terminal condition

LFC fan and father-of-two Chris Thurston, 42 and from the Wirral, has been diagnosed with early-onset motor neuron disease after struggling to walk and run
LFC fan and father-of-two Chris Thurston, 42 and from the Wirral, has been diagnosed with early-onset motor neuron disease after struggling to walk and run

A football-mad father who thought he was tripping over a “pinched nerve” was “devastated” after discovering it was a symptom of a degenerative disease.

Chris Thurston, 42, used to run half marathons and play the game he loves, but got held up after he started losing his balance in 2017.

The father-of-two, from Wirral, Merseyside, believed it was just a pinched nerve when he tripped over his left leg, Liverpool echo reports.

But after speaking to medical professionals, Chris received the life-changing news that it was an early symptom of motor neuron disease, the same condition that plagued Stephen Hawking.

He said: “I was pretty devastated. You read everything and start thinking the worst, you think, ‘What’s going to happen to my wife, my family, my kids?

“How much longer do I have? Will I be able to walk by this time next year?”

Chris finds it difficult to be active and play with his two children as his condition progresses


Chris Thurston)

“It’s one of the most devastating diagnoses you can possibly get.”

After speaking to a doctor, it was revealed that Chris had a pinched nerve, an early sign of motor neuron disease, and the father was officially diagnosed just before Christmas.

Motor neuron disease is a degenerative and fatal condition that affects nerve cells by gradually stopping them from working.

The incurable condition can not only lead to muscle wasting, but also difficulty walking, speaking, breathing, and swallowing.

Like the famous physicist Professor Hawking, Chris’ case starts early.

Most people with motor neuron disease are not diagnosed until they are in their 60s or 70s.

For hands-on dad Chris, the devastating news is life-changing as he struggles to walk without a frame or wheelchair and can no longer help wash or mow the lawn at home.

But the father is determined to stay positive for his family


Chris Thurston)

Chris said: “Probably the hardest part is not being able to go out and play football or jog or play football with the kids.

“That’s the hardest thing, I would say, just having to watch them play.

“You just find different ways to stay involved in these things.”

But the huge Liverpool FC fan is determined to stay positive, still helping out on his son’s football team, attending his games and taking his kids to see their team at Anfield.

He added: “Most of the time I’m just pretty grateful that I’m even there.

“There are people with this disease who don’t have the life expectancy that I had or hopefully will have.

“You must count your blessings, even if you could say it’s unlucky to have them.”

Chris isn’t sure how many years he has left from his diagnosis, but he has the continued support of his “amazing” volunteer throughout.

Chris continues to take the kids to watch games at Anfield


Chris Thurston)

The Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association volunteer supports Chris by giving him advice and helping him access the right equipment and healthcare services.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Diagnosed MND When news can be devastating for people and their families, people often don’t know who to turn to. One service the MND Association offers is support from trained volunteers.

“These volunteers (called coalition visitors) work closely with affected families MND.

“They are a key resource, providing emotional support, information and guidance to help families access services and grants.

“This support can be very rewarding for an association visitor and can make a huge difference in the coping of the people affected.

“The MND Association is currently recruiting additional Association Visitors to provide this essential support.

“If you think you could help, or would like more information about volunteering opportunities at the MND Association, please visit our website.”

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