AN ARBROATH couple have suffered the agony of losing a second son in as many years to a debilitating disease.
John Mathieson, who was just 21 years old, died on Tuesday afternoon.
Norman and Yvonne Mathieson, McGregor’s Walk, have worked tirelessly over the years to provide a better quality of life for their three sons, all of whom suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The couple also lost son James, who was only 17, to the disease in June, 2010.
John had just gained an HNC in Interactive Media and Web Development at Angus College.
The remaining son, Daniel, who is 22, will now have to come to terms with the tragic fact that over the last two years he has lost his brothers and soul mates to the disease.
Mr Mathieson explained that John had his breakfast as normal but had returned to bed feeling a little unwell.
He had then driven to Dundee where he received a call from his daughter, Claire, asking him to come home as John had taken a turn for the worse.
And when he turned into the street, he saw the ambulance at the house. The paramedics were attempting to revive John, but sadly he passed away in the vehicle.
Norman and Yvonne have continually raised awareness in the media of muscular dystrophy, which causes the sufferer’s muscles to waste away.
And in 2009 they travelled to Edinburgh to lobby the Scottish Parliament for more research funding.
At that time they pointed out that the nearest Centre of Excellence was in Newcastle where muscular dystrophy patients are tested on their ability and given assistance.
The Action Duchenne campaign was pushing for a centre of excellence to open in Scotland to ensure all sufferers, no matter where they live in the country, receive the same care and treatment from properly trained staff.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy seems to affect male members of a family rather than girls, and this appears to be the case of the Mathiesons, with sister Claire being unaffected.
Mr Mathieson said that if anyone would like to contribute to the campaign to offer a better quality of life to muscular dystrophy sufferers they could do so at www.actionduchenne.org.