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15 October 2014

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Lesley's brother John has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease

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By John Close
Lesley's brother John has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease an incurable muscle wasting illness. John's life has drastically changed as a result and he now depends on others 24 hours a day.


     Motor Neurone Disease Association
BBCi Health - Motor Neurone Disease

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Your thoughts about this video


As a spastic paraplegia sufferer, my heart goes out to him and his family. Any illness like mine and John's does put a strain on the relationships. It is nice to know that he a sister devoted to him, as any neurological condition puts a heavy burden on the carer. Thank You

This video made me cry, my father died from MND in 2004 and it was like seeing him there again suffering. My best wishes to John and His Sister, i know what you have to go through and completely understand

Steven Hart
Never have i felt so ashamed of myself ,while watching this video. The petty things that people like myself constantly moan about day after day. This video has given me a serious jolt' I am going to put my life in perspective. Appreciate my lovely Wife and Son more than ever. Basically aprreciate life everyday. John , you are one amazing human being. God Bless you mate.

Credits and plaudits to John and his sister. What wonderful people! I'm waiting my own results following MRI scan etc, etc but it looks pretty definite. If I can handle it half as well as John & Co then it won't be trial I fear. Thank you.

cassandra loveridge
its cases like this one that assissted suicide should be legalised in this country, i believe that john should be able to make his choice as to how and when his life finally ends, not allow this cruel illness to decide for him.

my dad has recently died from this desease and i miss him grately. but thanks to this video i had the strength to do everything in my power to make dads life a bit easier and to be there for him. hopefully one day there will be a cure

Alison Holmes
This storey is very touching and it may change people's view on Euthanasia. Many people suffering frommotor neurone disease ask for euthanasia such as Diane Pretty.

thank you for producing this video my dad has mnd and seeing this video has help meunderstand more!!

Liz Evans
This short film made me smile and cry. The attitude of both John and Lesley were amazing and I was humbled by their ability to joke about something terminal. "A well fed John is still a happy John". How they can think though, that he has no dignity when you can see it reach out to the viewer, is beyond me. I have worked in an environment where I have advised people on their benefit rights and I can say that those with terminal illnesses have the most amazing attitude to life as well as to other people and their ignorances. There is a feeling that John may be a bit extreme in his decision for Euthanasia but it's easy to be judgemental about the rights of life and death but given no real choice I do wonder what most people would do?

my dad has motor neurone disease and he has only juust been diagnosed with it if we all can b as strong as john and his family i know we can get through this. thank you for giving me a bit of strength i know we can do this!!

...I really don't know what to say although I want to say something. Assisted suicide is very important to me. Oh no, I'm 20 year-old and everything's fine, but I can't refrain from thinking about 'if one day' ... and about those that day unfortunately came. I don't know if it would be a good idea for the assisted suicide to become legal, because there might be so much troubles and wrong cases. But when people even ask to the government (it is the same in France, who someone asked to Chirac himself...and his demand was refused although he was deaf, dumb and motor-neurone attacked after a car crash), well I think .. we could think about it.

Steve Burdon
We can put men on the Moon, maybe even Mars! but we still have incurable diseases such as MND, do we have our priorities right? I dont think so.

Rachael Clarke
What an incredibly brave and effective video.It is something most of us would know nothing about or contemplate coming across in our lives. I felt the video was informative rather than asking for sympathy or looking for blame. I cant appreciate how either of them must feel, so im not going to pretend I can. John's courage and Leslie's commitment is unbelievable and I only hope that things go as best they can for both of them. It is a heartbreaking but powerful film and one that makes me realise just how fortunate I am.

Hayley Jones
The story of John was very moving, disturbing and heart breaking. The camera focuses on John in his wheelchair throughout the film, which makes us feel enormous sympathy for him, but personally makes me feel mildly uncomfortable. Taking my life for granted is what I do everyday, and to see someone so helpless who has lost their whole world without their speech and mobility- just brings our own lives into perspective and how easily they can be changed. I can’t even begin to have the determination and strength of mind that John and his sister have. Lesley is very brave, caring and considerate to devote her life to her brother. She is everything to him- And still through all this they manage to keep a smile on their faces. It was very disheartening when they were talking about the assisted suicide. To have nothing to live for is very depressing and I admire both John and his sister for being so courageous. My heart goes out to them.

Amy Holman
This is a very sad and very emotional video. It makes you relise how lucky you are to be here, alive and well. Not many people know much about this disease, my self included. I felt terrible as John wanted to talk but could not express himself in the way he wanted. His sister was wonderful, it shows they have a great connection with each other. She must find it very difficult. I liked how the video was very much like a documentary. Good luck to both John and his sister.

Bronwen Forster
The clip was very moving and showed an excellent portrayal of how someone and their family copes with MND. It was good having the sister explain on the overvoice, as it felt personal. It was very effective in focusing the viewers thoughts on the issue of assisted suicide.

Fran Coomey
As I watched this film I could not begin to imagine how John and his sister had coped in their ordeal, I could only give my admiration for their strength and courage. Coming to terms with an illess like MND must have been devastating, it makes you take a look at your own life and put it in perspective and pray that something as tragic as this never happens to you. I only hope John's prayers and wishes are answered, whatever they are!

Katy Walker
This video offered me an insight into the world of someone who can no longer fully appreciate life. The thing which struck me as being most moving was that even though it deals with a sad and serious subject, John still manages to raise a smile and make jokes in the way he can, even though he is suffering. His sister describes him as having been independant as a young person and this made me think of the importance of family and friends. As a young person I tend not to think of what could happen in the future, and this reminded of the people I have that might one day have to be that support, and how we should appreciate families more. I think both John and his sister show amazing strength and love to be able to cope with such an illness.

Nina Philipps
This is a very touching and sad story of somebody who's active life has been taken from them by MND. The sister's voice doing all the explaining as in some documentaries where a voice over is used. The bright cheery voice of the sister contrasts with the harsh reality of the illness.

Andrea Morgan
My first thought as I saw John in his wheelchair was that he was a happy looking person, as soon as he tried to speak I felt frustrated for him, even though he doesn't seem to let this get to him, I felt sadness as I watched this clip, it made me feel how lucky I am and made me see life in a different perspective, it was nice to see him going out with his sister and their close relationship, as the clip went on it started to show us what life is like for John he can't do anything for himself, he cant even get himself into bed, the most touching part of the clip was the ending, where he wanted to stop his pain, not only for himself but others around him, he seemed to be a very considerate man, to want to end his life for everyone, not just himself, not once did John or his sister look for pity, they both seem to work well as a team together, the painful thing was that he was still waiting for that letter that is going to change his life and his family's life forever, but if that is going to make him happy his sister seemed to be right behind him no matter what he decides to do with his life.

Sarah Yeomans
For me HUMANITY - human rights, MORALITY (moral values), TERMINAL ILLNESS, MORTALITY and EUTHANASIA are the key words that definine the thematic content. The piece tells a tragic true story, however, possesses an air of humour, a lighthearted mood, of which provides a surrealistic quality within the piece. The suffering siblings maintain smiles on their faces and good humour throughout. The muscle wasting disease has denied John of his independence and dignity. John a symbol of physical suffering (corruption of his physical form), his sister of emotional and mental suffering or grief. Lesley expresses her powerlessness and hopelessness, inability to help her brother, yet her emotions remain calm and controlled throughout, showing little signs of frustration, rather of self courage and bravery. I felt the visual imagery to be raw, and blatent, however forced no deliberate plea for the viewers sympathy or guilty discomfort. Not emotional propaganda. Clinical/ medical imagery is contrasted against the warmth of John's home surroundings. John requests assisted suicide, but awaits a decision and so his pain continues - No SOLUTION, No CLOSURE...

Jon Famer
This video had a profound effect on me. My mum developed MND in 1994 and died from it 2 years later. What struck me about John and his sister was how much their response to the illness mirrored that of my family and I. Despite the disease being so terribly debilitating and degrading John and his sister had a smile on their face and never once showed self pity. Like my mum I think they are an example to us all

John Carter
Credits and plaudits to John and his sister. What wonderful people! I'm waiting my own results following MRI scan etc, etc but it looks pretty definite. If I can handle it half as well as John & Co then it won't be trial I fear. Thank you.

John Close
3.28 mins
16 May 2003
Video Nation Beds, Herts and Bucks
England - East Midlands
Milton Keynes

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