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Inside Shane MacGowan’s gruelling health battle – ‘bones turning to dust’, losing every tooth and boozing from age five

SHANE MacGowan’s wife has asked for “prayers and healing vibes” as her husband’s health situation deteriorates.

The Pogues singer, 64, whose Christmas anthem Fairytale of New York has sold millions of copies, was rushed to hospital yesterday.

ShaneMacGowan

Shane MacGowan, 64, has been rushed to hospital this week[/caption]

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The Pogues singer is behind the Christmas anthem Fairytale of New York[/caption]

Wife Victoria May Clarke, who has been with him for 35 years, did not reveal what caused the hospital dash, only stating that she was “really hoping to get out asap”.

It’s the latest in a long line of health battles Shane has suffered including drug and drink addiction, broken bones and extensive dental work.

‘Bones turned to dust’

Shane’s mobility was dramatically reduced after a 2015 fall, which left him with a broken pelvis. 

It’s unclear what caused the accident, although Victoria claimed he was “doing a complicated dance move”. 

At the time, Shane told Vice that he “fell the wrong way”, which left him “lame in one leg” and unable to walk without a crutch. 

The singer was forced to use a wheelchair in the years that followed and last year, his injuries worsened after he fell and broke his knee shortly after tearing a ligament.

Victoria confirmed Shane was bedbound by the accident, left in a brace and struggling to eat. 

Crispin Rodwell – The Sun Dublin

Pogues singer Shane MacGowan leaves the funeral of Frank Murray in Church of Mount Argus[/caption]

While receiving physical therapy, Shane told the New York Times: “You find out your bones are turned to dust.”

His mobility was no better by April this year. Victoria told The Guardian that Shane “can’t walk anymore” and that he needs to use his wheelchair full-time. 

Shane is aided by his wife and a carer at their home in Dublin, where he needs help to get out of bed. 

Victoria added: “I definitely want to help him to stay alive for as long as possible.”

Drug and alcohol abuse 

Shane has long been known for his struggle with alcohol and drugs.

Famously, Sinead O’Connor reported him to London police for drug possession in a bid to stop him from using heroin.

Shane’s battles are well-documented and during his heyday, he would often perform and give interviews while drunk. 

He revealed he was five years old when his family gave him Guinness to help him fall asleep and as he got older his dad took him to the pub.

Shane photographed performing in 2009
Getty
Mark Doyle

The singer is said to drink considerably less nowadays[/caption]

Shane once said: “I was smoking and drinking and gambling before I could talk.”

But Victoria said his drinking problems stemmed from “singing in bars and clubs” and said: “His whole career has revolved around it.”

As a result, she believed his career had “been both enhanced and simultaneously inhibited by it”.

Victoria thought her husband had changed drastically from the first she met him.

In April, she said: “He was very much a hell-raiser, who would drink everything that was in front of him, take any drug you could think of and always step out in front of cars.”

Last year, she told the New York Times it was “a couple of years” since she had “seen him drunk” and instead, he uses cannabis.

Teeth troubles

Getty

Shane flashing his new gnashers after an op in 2015[/caption]

Even in the music video for 1987 hit Fairytale of New York, many noted the concerning appearance of Shane’s teeth. 

By 2008, he had none of his original gnashers left after years of smoking twinned with drug and alcohol abuse 

Seven years after Shane lost the last of his teeth, he underwent a nine-hour procedure to fit him with 28 glowing dentures on a titanium frame and a gold tooth.

It was filmed for the UK doc Shane MacGowan: A Wreck Reborn.

‘Regrets… but glad to be alive’

Shane has had multiple hospital visits in recent years, during which he sleeps in a “sumptuous” bed.

He told The Spectator: “Sometimes people visit, or we go out to dinner, or sometimes I end up in hospital.

“If I don’t end up in hospital, I thank Jesus and His Holy Mother and all the saints and angels.” 

Despite his self-destructive habits, Shane admitted he’s “glad to be alive” and “grateful to wake up”.

Recently, Victoria added that he “never seems to want not to live”.

During that same interview, Shane was asked if he had any regrets about the way he lived his life, to which he replied: “Of course!”

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Football News Health News Weather

Met Office issues urgent cold weather alert as ‘Troll of Trondheim’ sends temperatures plummeting as low as -10C

THE MET Office has issued an urgent cold weather warning as temperatures are set to plunge to as low as minus 10C.

The cold snap is due to a freezing storm known as the ‘Troll of Trondheim’ sweeping in from Norway.

The Met Office has triggered a level 3 alert for severe cold

A level 3, or amber, alert warns of freezing conditions between 6pm on Wednesday and 9am on Monday December 12, with social and healthcare services told to take action to protect high-risk groups.

The forecasters said that air from the Arctic will spread south across the nation, with very cold and frosty nights expected from the middle of the week.

The Met Office warned said that there is a 90 per cent probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions in the specified period.

“We can expect to see some snow and wintry showers further south as the week progresses, particularly in coastal areas or over higher ground,” said its deputy chief meteorologist Rebekah Sherwin.

“There will be widespread frosts with temperatures falling to as low as minus 10C overnight in isolated spots by the end of the week.”

The Met Office also warned that the weather could “disrupt the delivery of services”.

Wintry showers are likely in coastal areas and very cold nights are expected, with heavy frosts likely.

Daytime temperatures persisting near or just above freezing, with overnight temperatures continuing to trend downwards, said the forecasters.

The amber alert is the second most severe possible, with only a level 4 red alert above it.

Snow is even forecast in the coming weeks, sparking hopes of a White Christmas.

The Met’s long range forecast for December 19 to January 2 said that a “transition between the cold and mild conditions” in this period brings the “risk of rain, with sleet and snow”.

Dustings of the white stuff are most likely to be seen on higher ground, especially in the Scottish Highlands.

A yellow weather warning for snow covers most of northern Scotland across all of Wednesday.

The Met says that roads and railways in these areas are “likely” to be affected by the freezing conditions.

The amber warning requires health and care services to take action to protect high-risk people
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Football News GP Health News News Health NHS The Sun Newspaper

Patients were unable to book GP appointments up to five million times in October

PATIENTS were unable to book GP appointments up to five million times last month, according to an analysis.

The Labour Party said one in seven phone calls cannot get a consultation with a doctor.

Alamy

Patients were unable to book GP appointments up to five million times in October, according to an analysis[/caption]

With almost 32million appointments in October, it suggests as many as 5.2m calls did not get a slot.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said: “Patients are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment when they need one.

“I’m really worried that among those patients unable to get an appointment, there could be serious conditions going undiagnosed until it’s too late.”

The NHS Patient Survey this year found 13.8 per cent of people were not offered or refused a GP appointment last time they phoned for one.

The top reasons were that there were no suitable times available or practices were not taking advance bookings.

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “GPs and their teams are working flat out to deliver the care and services our patients need.

“We delivered a record 36.1 million consultations in October, almost 40 per cent of these on the day they were booked, more than 80 per cent within two weeks and more than 71 per cent in person.

“Accessing our services isn’t the fault of GP teams, it’s a consequence of an underfunded and understaffed service working under unsustainable pressures.”

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Football News Health News Police Scotland Scottish News

Scots cop training college ‘to close’ after deadly disease scare hits academy

POLICE Scotland’s training college is set to close after a Legionnaires’ scare, according to reports.

The Scottish Sun exclusively revealed last month how hundreds of rookie cops were placed on alert after the lethal disease contaminated waterworks in the cadet HQ.

Tulliallan Police College could have to close over the disease
We revealed how hundreds of rookie cops were placed on high alert
Alamy

Legionnaires’ attacks the lungs after being inhaled via droplets of water[/caption]

Now, following further investigations, it’s claimed Tulliallan training school may have to close as soon as tomorrow, as The Herald reports.

It is believed no one has taken unwell because of the disease and that force bosses are awaiting the results of further tests.

Cop cadets were warned to stay away from showers in one section of the academy, in Kincardine, Fife, after the disease was discovered in five shower heads – which were later removed.

Around 300 rookies were said to be horrified when the bacteria scare came to light mid November at the Scottish Police College.

Legionnaires’ attacks the lungs after being inhaled via droplets of water, with heated supplies posing the highest risk.

And it can cause serious illness — and even death in an estimated one in ten cases of whose who fall sick with the bug.

Top brass issued an alert over the deadly bug just days after the wannabe bobbies were sworn in at the Fife base to mark the start of an intense three-month course.

A Police Scotland spokesperson told The Herald: “Preliminary test results have indicated the potential presence of Legionella bacteria at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan.

“These tests were carried out as part of the ongoing cleaning response to traces of the bacteria being detected on 16 November, 2022.

“While these results are not yet confirmed, the safety and wellbeing of our people remains a priority and contingency plans are being put in place as a precaution.”

Insiders told how the move left some newbies reluctant to quench their thirst or freshen up properly after being put through lung-bursting workouts – but force chiefs did provide alternative facilities.

Sources claimed the scare sent shockwaves through the army of cadets. The current intake is made up of 184 males and 116 females, with the youngest probationer being 18 years old and the oldest 55.

The Scottish Sun has contacted Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority for comment.

We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun? Email us at scoop@thesun.co.uk or call 0141 420 5200

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Fertility Football News Health Men's health Mental Health News News Health Pregnancy The Sun Newspaper Women's Health

From fertility at 35 to a nasty skin rash… Dr Zoe Williams answers your health queries

WINTER is well and truly here and the days are getting shorter and shorter.

Feeling a bit blue about the lack of sunlight is perfectly normal.

Dr Zoe Williams answers some common questions sent in by readers

We can all feel a little sluggish at this time of year, and hopping out of bed in the morning can feel gruelling.

We should all be taking a vitamin D supplement, as our bodies are unable to make this in the winter months, so we risk becoming deficient.

Vitamin D is important for the immune system and muscle and bone health.

However, if you’re feeling very fatigued or helpless, are lacking interest in things you usually enjoy, are withdrawing from socialising (despite party season) and suffering persistent low mood, it might not just be seasonal blues you are dealing with.

These are signs of depression.

Please make an appointment to speak to your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than two weeks.

Here are just a few of the questions Sun Health readers asked me this week…

Q) I’M 35 and don’t want to have kids yet – but I do want them eventually.

What can I take or do to get my body ready?

A) This is great, you’re forward planning, and the good news is there’s lots you can do.

While I don’t know what your lifestyle is like right now, there are maybe the more obvious things you can do: stop smoking, and aim towards a healthy weight if you can.

And there are less obvious things too.

We know that stress and high blood pressure can affect fertility so have a look at things like your work-life balance to manage stress and make sure your blood pressure has been checked.

Are you dealing with chronic levels of stress at work or at home?

If so, have a think about how you can adjust things.

There are studies which suggest depression and poor mental health can affect the regulation of the luteinising hormone that helps regulate ovulation, so if you’re struggling with mental health, speak to your GP or self-refer for talking ­therapy.

And it’s not just women — it’s important that men optimise their health too.

Research shows heavy smoking is associated with a decreased sperm count, and excess alcohol is associated with increased numbers of abnormal sperm.

It’s a good idea to start taking folic acid and vitamin D prior to conceiving too, which will help ensure you are not ­deficient in these and therefore support your body to grow a healthy foetus.

Start limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, and make sure you are exercising regularly, as these are not only helpful in preparing your body for pregnancy, but establishing important habits that will then be easier to maintain when you are pregnant.

And if you are not using hormonal ­contraception you can start to get in tune with your body, track your cycle using an app, and start to notice the signs of ­ovulation — the best indicator is changes to cervical secretions, or vaginal discharge.

Most couples get pregnant within a year with regular sex.

Don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t happen instantly.

Q) WHEN will I know I need HRT and how do I go about getting it?

A) This is a great question and one which will have a different answer for each and every individual.

Some women have severe menopausal symptoms but do not take HRT through choice or because there are unacceptable risks.

We commonly see this in women who have, or have previously had, breast cancer.

Other women choose to take HRT purely for preventative purposes, to protect against osteoporosis and heart disease.

So, each individual requires an assessment of the risks versus the benefits, combined with the person’s preferences.

For most women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause that are negatively impacting their quality of life, the benefits of HRT or hormone replacement therapy, will outweigh the risks.

HRT will help to relieve most menopausal symptoms, but when you consider there are 34 recognised menopausal symptoms, you could have lots or just a few.

I see women all the time who come in with a symptom who are shocked to find out it could be menopause or peri-menopause related.

Symptoms range from ones you’ve most likely heard about; hot flushes, irregular periods, night sweats and mood swings, to ones you might not be as familiar with; vaginal dryness, memory lapses, insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue, brain fog, pins and needles, a burning mouth, electric shocks (yes, you read that right), itchiness, joint pain, muscle tension, sore breasts, headaches, food sensitivities, bloating, thinning hair, brittle nails, ­bladder incontinence, allergies and loss of sexual desire.

It’s an extensive list so have a think about each one in turn.

Have you been forgetful for a while but put it down to having lots on your plate?

Have you been anxious or worried but thought it was because you’ve got a lot going on at work?

Lots of women cope with symptoms for a long time because they creep up gradually, so I’d suggest keeping a log or diary and making an appointment with your GP.

Is it rosacea or just a rash?

Q) I HAVE very dry skin on my forehead.

I’ve tried Vaseline, Doublebase and Neutrogena but nothing seems to work.

My GP said it’s rosacea but someone I work with said you don’t just get it in one place – it normally affects your cheeks and chin too.

Can you advise?

A)Rosacea usually occurs on the mid-face,  nose, and cheeks, but it can also occur on the forehead and chin.

However, there are other things that could cause dry skin in this area too, including irritant eczema – from cosmetics for ­example – and a condition called ­seborrhoeic dermatitis, which is caused by a yeast organism.

Your GP can assess more closely, ask more questions and examine you too see which is more likely.

Even the location on the forehead would give clues, for example if the rash was predominantly in the centre of the forehead this might make ­rosacea more likely, whereas if the rash is worse around the eyebrows and hairline, this might point more towards seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Rosacea is more prevalent in women than men and most commonly first appears when people are in their 30s or 40s.

The earliest symptom tends to be flushing, but as time goes on the redness persists.

Sometimes there are acne-like spots and in rare cases more serious complications like inflammation to the eye or increasing bulk to the soft tissues of the nose.

If your GP thinks it is rosacea then it’s worth treating it as such.

There are many different treatments and the best one will depend on your symptoms.

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Alzheimer's Dementia Drugs Football News Health News News Health NHS Sun Selects Health The Sun Newspaper Women's Health

Dreams of dementia cure closer than ever as scientists make key breakthrough

DREAMS of a cure for dementia are closer than ever thanks to breakthrough trial results confirmed last week.

There are an estimated 900,000 people in the UK living with dementia and there is no cure or effective treatment.

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Breakthrough trial results confirmed last week that dreams of dementia cure are getting closer[/caption]

The main cause is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for two in three cases. In September, scientists proved for the first time that they can tackle it using a drug designed to clear damaging protein clumps from the brain.

The drug, named Lecanemab, reduced progression of dementia by 27 per cent over 18 months.

It is the first proof that using drugs to clear the clumps — made up of a protein named ­amyloid — can slow the disease.

Although this is not a cure, the discovery gives a huge boost to hopes for future treatments.

Dr Mark Mintun, vice-president of brain diseases at US pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly told Sun Health: “This is a new era in Alzheimer’s disease . . .  we’re going in the right direction.”

Vicious cycle

It was Professor John Hardy, a scientist at University College London, who 30 years ago came up with the theory of how the build-up of amyloid protein ­triggers ­Alzheimer’s.

His team suggested sticky lumps of the protein start a vicious cycle, in which the immune system makes the brain damage worse.

It was Professor John Hardy, a scientist at University College London, who 30 years ago came up with the theory of how the build-up of amyloid protein ­triggers ­Alzheimer’s.

His team suggested sticky lumps of the protein start a vicious cycle, in which the immune system makes the brain damage worse.

Speaking in November, Professor Hardy called this “a historic moment”.

The biggest success of 2022 — and arguably decades of dementia research — was the Lecanemab trial, revealed by manufacturers Eisai and Biogen.

Eli Lilly’s drug, Donanemab, also showed in a trial that it was able to partly clear amyloid ­protein from the brain.

That study, presented at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in San Francisco last week, revealed 37.9 per cent of patients had “clearance” of the protein after six months.

On average, scans showed the drug removed two thirds of the amyloid in the subjects’ brains.

A larger trial, set to end next summer, hopes to prove this will prevent the patients’ symptoms of dementia, as Lecanemab did. But this effect is not a given, and other, very similar amyloid-busting drugs have failed.

Dame Barbara died in 2020, six years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
PA:Press Association

One made by Roche, was one of this year’s biggest disappointments.
Trials found small reductions in amyloid and brain decline, but the company said they were “not statistically significant”. Despite coming so close to success, Roche has now abandoned the drug.

Millions of people in the UK and worldwide are forced to watch their loved ones decline, knowing doctors can do nothing.

Destruction of vital nerves in the brain means patients suffer memory loss, confusion, physical disabilities, personality changes, mental health problems and eventually death.

Although trial successes bring hope, the benefits of first-generation drugs are likely to be small.

Dr Mintun said: “For example, if we had a 32 per cent slowing of disease that could mean, over an 18-month ­period, the person has saved six months of progression.

“So whatever they would have stopped being able to do over the next six months, they will still be able to do.

There may also be serious side-effects, such as increased risk of stroke or brain swelling. At least two patients in the trial of the successful drug Lecanemab have died, including a 65-year-old woman of stroke. An 80-year-old reportedly died in June.

Getting access to the new ­therapies will not be easy either.

Professor John Hardy said he hoped the first patients in the UK will gain access to Lecanemab by the end of next year but they will probably be private patients, as the drugs are expected to be very expensive because they have cost so much to develop.

UK experts fear the NHS is not geared up to prescribe a completely new type of drug to such a large group of patients.

More stretched

Also, the medicines will work best if they are given in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s, ­ideally before symptoms begin.

But these patients are extremely difficult to diagnose, because testing for the condition is expensive and complicated — at a time when the NHS is more stretched than ever.

There are also more than 300,000 people with other types of dementia, which the drugs are not designed for.

The Department of Health and Social Care last week confirmed its commitment to the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia ­Mission taskforce, while Boris Johnson’s government committed to doubling dementia research funding to £160million per year by 2025.

Dr Susan Kohlhaas, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “The road to an anti-amyloid treatment has been a long one.

“We hope that this drug will make it to patients, but it won’t be suitable for everyone with Alzheimer’s. It’s only a first step on the journey towards a cure.”

The big-name drigs of 2021/22

LECANEMAB: Successful trial, reduced cognitive decline by 27 per cent.

Made by Eisai And Biogen.

ADUCANUMAB: Approved in the US but rejected in Europe.

Studies found it reduced amyloid but did not prove it reduced cognitive decline.

Made by Biogen.

DONANEMAB: In trials now.

Recent study showed it clears amyloid better than aducanumab.

Made by Eli Lilly

GANTENERUMAB: Trial showed small reductions in amyloid and brain decline but they were “not significant”.

Studies abandoned.

Made by Roche

‘Bittersweet news for me and my dad’

CLARE O’Reilly, 43, from Plymouth, is hopeful for the future, despite the fact that dad Mick, 75, from Solihull, West Mids, is living with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

She says: “It’s bittersweet news because it’s too late for my dad, there’s only one way his condition is going to go, but the thought my three children may have hope should I ever be diagnosed is some thing I’m incredibly grateful for.”

Clare O’Reilly

Although Clare worries for her dad Mick who was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s, she is hopeful that if she gets Alzheimer’s she may be treated[/caption]

Mick says: “Knowing if Clare gets ­Alzheimer’s she could get treatment is nothing short of miraculous.

“It’s a lonely diagnosis. I wouldn’t want her to have the thoughts I’ve had, and the confusion.”

How to spot the early signs

THERE are around 200 ­subtypes of dementia and each one can affect people differently.

Several key early symptoms can show up before diagnosis and usually come on gradually and may worsen over time.

According to the NHS, these include:

  • Memory loss.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, like getting confused over change or not being able to follow a recipe.
  • Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word.
  • Being confused about the time.
  • Mood changes.

It’s easy to miss the signs yourself. If you or a loved one notice symptoms, see your GP.

‘I’m at high-risk so this gives me hope’

SOPHIA HUSBANDS, 43, from ­Windsor, Berks, who runs a wellness brand, fears she will develop ­Alzheimer’s after her parents were both diagnosed.

Her father died, aged 75, and her mother lives with the condition.

Supplied

Sophia fears she will develop ­Alzheimer’s after her parents were both diagnosed[/caption]

Sophia says: “You feel as if you are losing someone, even though they are still alive. Mum is only 78 and her health is declining.

“I’d love for there to be better treatments for her but I worry about my own future too.

“I’m probably at high risk, given that both my parents have been diagnosed.

“It’s great to know so many treatments are being discovered and so many trials are being done.

“It gives me hope.”

Categories
childcare Diet Food Football News Health News News Health Parenting The Sun Newspaper

My son only ate beige food for eight years – but he’s now tucking into fruit after we tried something drastic

A BOY who only ate beige foods for eight years is now tucking into fruit thanks to hypnosis.

Noah Young, nine, even suffered stunted growth due to his restrictive diet.

SWNS

Noah Young, pictured with mum Caroline, only ate beige foods but is now tucking into fruit thanks to hypnosis[/caption]

His breakfast consisted of dry cereal, toast or pancakes, while lunch and dinners were mainly plain pasta, chips, chicken nuggets or pizza.

Eating something new or different made him gag.

Mum Caroline said: “He was sent home from school for being sick after they made him eat carrots.

“He used to have pasta with sauce but then just wanted it plain. Everything was plain.

“Trying to get him to eat anything good was a challenge, he would be crying and gagging.

“When it started getting bad, we noticed he wasn’t growing.

“We were trying to find someone to deal with it.

“I was worried he wasn’t going to develop.”

Noah’s eating habits began to change at 18 months.

Doctors had dismissed him as a fussy eater, so Caroline sought help from hypnotherapist David Kilmurry.

He diagnosed avoidant restrictive food intake disorder and within one session had Noah trying new foods.

David said: “We did some footballing-focused hypnotism where he saw himself with his team-mates enjoying a hearty pre-match meal.”

Mum-of-three Caroline, from Derby, who works in social media, is delighted.

She added: “Noah’s tried 22 types of food now.

“It’s mainly fruit, but it’s really good progress.

“He hasn’t been sick since.

“He realises these foods are not going to hurt him.”

SWNS

Caroline recalled how on one occasion Noah was sent home from school for being sick after they made him eat carrots[/caption]

SWNS

Doctors dismissed Noah as a fussy eater, so Caroline sought help from hypnotherapist David Kilmurry[/caption]

SWNS

Mum-of-three Caroline, who works in social media, is delighted at Noah’s new diet[/caption]

Categories
Exclusives Football News Health News Rugby union Sport

Doddie Weir’s death brought back painful memories from losing Fernando, Rangers star’s widow says

FERNANDO Ricksen’s widow has told how Doddie Weir’s death from motor neurone disease brought back painful memories of losing her ex-Rangers star husband.

Veronika Ricksen, 36, said she knows the torment the rugby legend’s loved ones will be suffering and insisted they can get through it by sticking together.

Getty – Contributor

Veronika Ricksen said Doddie Weir’s death brought back painful memories[/caption]

Les Gallagher – The Sun Glasgow

Veronika said she knows the torment the rugby legend’s loved ones will be suffering[/caption]

AFP

Scotland hero Doddie died after a six year battle with MND[/caption]

But she admitted she still misses her hubby “every day” — three years after the footie hero also lost his battle with MND, aged 43.

The brave mum of one said: “I don’t think Fernando ever spoke to Doddie. He didn’t like to speak about his illness and preferred to focus on positive things.

“When I read Doddie had died, it brought back some bad memories.

“His family will be feeling terrible about losing their beloved husband and dad. I miss Fernando every day.

“Despite knowing what is coming, you can never be ready. Doddie died six years after his diagnosis, which was actually the same as Fernando.”

Scotland and British Lions star Doddie’s death was announced on November 26 by his wife Kathy, 52 — mum to their sons Hamish, 21, Angus, 20, and Ben, 19.

She said: “It is difficult to put into words how much we will miss him.”

Veronika revealed her own family, including daughter Isabella, ten, went through dark times after Fernando died.

She said: “Doddie’s family will hopefully be keeping positive memories. His life continues through his sons.

“For me, Isabella is the one thing that kept me going.”

And she praised the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which has raised £8million for MND research.

Veronika said: “It’s a great thing that he managed to raise so much.

“They are now making inroads into this terrible disease and I pray they can find a cure.”

Fernando revealed in 2013 he had the incurable muscle-wasting disease in a TV interview in his Dutch homeland. But, like Doddie, he refused to give in to it.

Thousands lined Glasgow’s streets for his funeral in September 2019.

Ex-Gers boss Steven Gerrard, 42, and Celtic icon Neil Lennon, 51, were in the congregation at the service.

douglas.walker@the-sun.co.uk

Veronika said their daughter Isabella kept her strong after their tragic loss

We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun? Email us at scoop@thesun.co.uk or call 0141 420 5200

Categories
Coronavirus Football News Health News Police Scottish News UK Lockdown

Hundreds still living in ‘hellhole’ homeless hotels racked with deaths and violence as cops blame Covid

MORE than 600 homeless people housed in Glasgow hotels during the pandemic are still there, official figures reveal.

Hundreds were put up in B&Bs in March 2020 to help slow the spread of the virus after new rules limiting their use as temporary digs were put on hold by ministers.

The Times

More than 600 homeless people who were homed in hotels during the pandemic are still there[/caption]

But a Freedom of Information request to Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership shows 635 homeless people remain there.

Police Scotland — which revealed Covid restrictions fuelled a spike in 999 calls to the hotels — say it is the responsibility of the council over where it places the destitute.

Chief Inspector Natalie Carr, Local Area Commander, said: “We know members of the homeless community often have complex needs and these may have been exacerbated by the public health crisis.

“Sites were identified to provide accommodation on a temporary basis throughout the pandemic.

“Relevant support was also incorporated to assist specific needs.”

We told how hotels housing rough sleepers in Scotland’s biggest city have racked up over 1,500 cop callouts in three years — amid sudden deaths, violence and drug abuse.

The Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander Thomson inns were so blighted by crime, some homeless people chose to live on the streets instead.

Both Glasgow venues, operated by RMG Hotels, were used by the local council as temporary digs for those with nowhere else to go during the pandemic — and continue to provide short-term accommodation.

But insiders claim homeless people are desperate to avoid the “lawless hellholes”.

A Freedom of Information request to Police Scotland revealed calls to the Rennie Mackintosh on Union Street rocketed from 16 in 2019 to over 1,000 in three years.

Seven people have died there since 2020. At the nearby Alexander Thomson on Argyle Street, the figure shot up from 18 to 591. There were 10 fatalities in 2020 alone.

jennifer.jones@thesun.co.uk

We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun? Email us at scoop@thesun.co.uk or call 0141 420 5200

Categories
Football News Health News News Health Schools

Eighth child dies of Strep A as cases of bacterial infection continue to rise

A PRIMARY school pupil has become the eighth child to die after being diagnosed with Strep A.

The youngster’s death was confirmed by the headteacher at their school, Morelands Primary in Waterlooville, Hampshire.

The child was a pupil at Morelands Primary school in Hampshire

Headmistress Alison Syred-Paul said: “Very tragically, we have learned of the death in recent days of a child who attended our school, who was also diagnosed with an invasive Group A Streptococcal (iGAS) infection.

“We are absolutely devastated by the loss of one of our young pupils and offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the child’s family at this extremely sad time.”

She added: “As a precaution, we have also been raising awareness amongst parents, carers and our school community of the signs and symptoms of Group A Streptococcal (iGAS) infections, and what to do if a child develops these, including invasive Group A Streptococcal (iGAS) infection.”

The school is listed as having 328 pupils.

Eight children are now known to have died from the illness which usually only causes a mild sore throat and temperature — but in extreme cases can lead to a life-threatening infection.

The other deaths were almost all children of primary school age.

They include Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, four, from High Wycombe, Bucks, and Hanna Roap, seven, from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan.

The pandemic lockdown is being blamed for the outbreak because children were shuttered away — creating a lower immunity to infections.

The UK Health Security Agency said the last time there was an intensive period of Strep A infection was in 2017-18, with four deaths in England in the equivalent time frame.

The Sun’s Dr Jeff Foster said Strep A is one of the most common bugs doctors see in kids every year, but that it is currently surging.

He said: “It is commonly found in children under ten and is spread by droplets and close contact — through spit, sneezing, coughing and touching infected surfaces. It’s the same way you would get a common cold.

“You can get mild cases where children have a temperature and a sore throat. If it becomes scarlet fever they would get a rash, which looks like sandpaper, around four or five days after the temperature starts, and red flushing cheeks.

“This year’s is not a new variant. It’s the post-Covid effect as kids were not exposed to bugs for two years.”

Dr Colin Brown, deputy director of the UKHSA, added: “It is important parents are on the lookout for symptoms — and see a doctor as quickly as possible so we can stop the infection becoming serious.”

In response to the outbreak, Downing Street said it can “fully understand” that parents are concerned by rising Strep A cases, but stressed the NHS is “well prepared” for such situations.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are seeing a higher number of cases of Group A strep this year compared to usual.

“The bacteria we know causes a mild infection which is easily treated with antibiotics and in rare circumstances it can get into the bloodstream and cause serious illness.

“It is still uncommon but it’s important parents are on the lookout for symptoms.

“But the NHS is well prepared to deal with situations like this, working with the UK Health Security Agency.”

He said any parents who are concerned should contact the NHS.

Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, aged four, also fell victim to the infection
Hannah Roap, aged seven, is another of the victims

The four signs of Strep A you need to know

With a resurgence in illnesses caused by the infection it’s important to know what to look out for.
There are four key signs of Group Strep A to watch out for, according to the NHS. These are:

  1. A fever (meaning a high temperature above 38°C)
  2. Severe muscle aches
  3. Localised muscle tenderness
  4. Redness at the site of a wound

Q&A with Sun’ Dr Jeff Foster

Q) What is Strep A?

A) Group A Streptococcus is the name of a bacteria which can cause different infections and is commonly found in children under the age of ten.

Every year doctors will see a lot of children with suspected Strep A. You can get mild cases where you might not even know what it is because they would just have a temperature and a sore throat.

It can become scarlet fever which you can spot if your children develops a rash. It looks like sandpaper and develops around four or five days after the temperature starts.

The child would also get red flushing cheeks.

Q) What is invasive Group A Strep or iGAS?

A) In very rare cases the bacteria can get invade parts of the body including the blood, muscles or lungs.

Early signs and symptoms of such disease include a high fever, severe muscle aches, pain in one area of the body, redness at the site of a wound and vomiting or diarrhoea.

Q) How does it spread?

A) It is spread by droplets and close contact — through your spit, sneezing, coughing and touching infected surfaces.

It is passed on in the same way as a common cold.

Q) Why has there been such an increase in cases?

A) It is believed to be because during Covid lockdowns young children were not mixing which would usually help to build up the immune system.

If you are constantly exposed to a little bit of Group A Strep and similar bacteria then your immune system would be ready and would nail it when it comes back into contact.

Q) How is it treated?

A) Scarlet fever and impetigo, which are both caused by Strep A, can be treated with antibiotics.

Mild cases which cause a sore throat or a high temperature will usually clear up on their own.