Until 28th February 2014 Cameron Lindsay was a normal, healthy, functioning 11-year-old boy. A straight-A student, high achieving sportsman in cricket, football and golf, confident, mature and very likeable young man who was looking forward to starting high school, full of plans for the next, more independent stage of his life.
Then, out of the blue, he was diagnosed with an infection in the brain. This triggered his immune system to turn on itself which weakened the blood barrier in his brain, meaning that his immune system was able to attack his inner brain. His mum and dad watched the son they knew disappear before their eyes in a matter of days. He has now been left with an acquired brain injury that is life limiting.
Doctors diagnosed PANDAS – Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections – and also suspect he has underlying Auto Immune Encephalitis. He is unable to go to school, suffers chronic pain in his limbs, chronic fatigue and struggles to cope with normal, daily tasks such as getting dressed, packing a bag, and eating. Without warning his body will go into severe cerebral palsy like contortions and he suffers extreme psychiatric symptoms that are heartbreakingly distressing in one so young.
As a result of all of this, he has suffered significant damage in key areas of his brain. His working memory, co-ordination, short term memory, verbal processing and processing speeds have all been dramatically impacted. Over the last several months he has spent time in the Royal Belfast Children’s Hospital, where he receives Immunoglobulin blood treatment. Although this makes him very sick it helps kill off the attacking antibodies. However the Paediatric Neurology team there have done all they can for him as they just don’t have the knowledge, expertise or resources to get him back to health. He is on a complex drug regime which gives him some control over some of his symptoms.
He now requires very complicated testing of his blood & brain serum in Copenhagen and the results of these tests could really narrow down and help direct treatment. The experts in this rare auto immune condition are mainly found in the USA and this is where his Mum and Dad would really like to take Cameron to get treatment as they believe they can get Cameron better and give him his life back.
To find out more about Cameron and get regular updates on his condition, please visit: http://thecameronlindsayappeal.weebly.com