A charity truck and tractor show is being held in Loughgiel Millennium Centre later this month to help raise £65,000 to send a local man to South America for a life-changing operation.
John McNaughton, from Glenarrife, has only carried his daughter Shannon once since she was born having being diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
John has been offered ‘one last chance’ to have surgery which could help him live a better life - but time is running out.
His family and friends need to raise £65,000 to help John undergo a life-changing operation in Mexico.
John’s story on his Justgiving site explains: “Known locally as Noddy, John is a 43 -year-old married man with five children. His wife Patricia has her hands full caring for them all including her husband John. She doesn’t complain. She goes about her work in a quiet and calm manner despite the extreme pressures she is facing – things have changed dramatically since they first met at a marquee in Cushendall in 1999.
‘John has been farming beef cattle and sheep since he left school at 16. He built up a small holding which had 200 sheep and 25 cattle. Shea, the eldest at 13, has been working the farm for the last few years.
“His daddy’s crippling illness has left him unable to do the work himself. Shea couldn’t cope with the heavy and dangerous work so the cattle are now all gone.
“Shea, along with his younger sister Clodagh, 11 and two younger brothers Eoin 8 and Ruari 6, go through the daily farm routine with the sheep. It’s a tough life before and after school.
“John’s sister Mary, was alarmed that he had the same gait as a person she knew who had MS. An appointment was made at the doctor and within a short time John was in Magherafelt Neurology Department. After tests a few weeks later John was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
“MS is basically where the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate. He is now wheelchair bound. John has had all medication removed – none of them work now.
“There is only one option available to John and time is running out before he will not be allowed to go for the surgery at the Clinique Ruiz in Mexico.
“The timescale is tight. John has a maximum of six months before he exceeds the limit that determines this surgery cannot be performed.
So far John’s site has raised an amazing £8,520 however more is still desperately needed, please help: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/john-mcnaughton/coverphoto
* The charity truck and charity show will be held on Saturday, April 29.