Sports-mad boy's battle with ME
By Tarik Al Rasheed
JUST over a year ago Jordan Vautrinot was a healthy sports-mad 11-year-old boy.
But now he needs a wheelchair, can no longer attend school and finds spending even a short while out of bed absolutely exhausting.
In February 2005 Jordan's mum Aileen took him to the doctors thinking he was suffering from tonsillitis. She was shocked when it turned out to be something far more serious.
Jordan has since been diagnosed with ME, a medical condition whose common symptoms include severe and debilitating fatigue, painful muscles and joints, disordered sleep and poor memory and concentration. It is not treatable and is often caused by the onset of a viral infection.
Now Mrs Vautrinot, who has just moved with her family to Leigh Sinton, is urging local people to learn more about the condition and to not judge her son.
"Jordan got unwell and he just never recovered," said Mrs Vautrinot. "It can last for a year, two years or ten years, there is no time limit on it and no treatment other than to manage the pain."
Mrs Vautrinot said the condition caused Jordan a lot of pain, both physically and mentally.
"He is able to walk, but only very short distances and it leaves him shattered," she said. "He used to be really active and all he wants to do is enjoy things like playing football again."
Jordan has not been able to attend school for the last year, and recently started to receive tutoring at home. Although Mrs Vautrinot is now starting to understand the condition, that has not always been the case.
ME was only recognised as an illness four years ago and she feels that if people were more aware things could be easier for the sufferers and for and those supporting them.
"Some people think Jordan is just being lazy, because he looks perfectly healthy, but that is not the case," she said.
Mrs Vautrinot has discovered that there are specialists and support groups available to help, but worries that others may be struggling alone.
The Malvern branch of the Worcester ME support group meets at Malvern Evangelical Church, Pickersleigh Road, on the second Thursday of each month between 2pm-4pm.
Sufferers, carers, friends and relatives, are welcome to attend the meetings where relevant information is available, as well as emotional and practical support. The group also produces a bi-monthly newsletter.
For more information call Jill Pigott on 01905 455187 or visit www.geocities.com/worcsmegroup.