I am sure that many of you don’t know Cameron, however there are many of us who do. He has been staying in Ferris Bay for many years and during that time has been a Junior member of our Club, winning trophies each year. The photos here were taken at the Junior prize giving last year.
I first encountered Cameron in the Club some years ago when this small blond kid walked into the small bar around seven in the evening. He sat up on one of the bar stools and ordered an orange and a packet of crisps. We did not know who he was and when we asked who he was he said he was staying with his grandpa down in Ferris Bay. From that time onwards his ever smiling face and lovely personality charmed everyone he met.
Until February 28th 2014 Cameron was a normal healthy functioning 11 year old. A straight A student, high achieving sportsman in cricket, football & golf, confident, mature & very likeable young man who was looking forward to starting Grammar 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 and but also suspect he has underlying Auto Immune Encephalitis. He is not able to go to school, suffers chronic pain in his limbs, chronic fatigue and struggles to cope with the daily tasks such as getting dressed, packing a bag, and eating. Without warning his body will go into severe cerebral palsy like contortions & 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 lot of 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. However he now requires very complicated testing of his blood & brain serum in Copenhagen and the results of these tests could really narrow down & 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.
Please visit this website to read Cameron's story and get an update on his treatment etc. Worth a visit.
Bobby Niblock Club Captain 2015