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Fife family raise thousands for son with extremely rare condition

fife mum raising funds for son with rare condition
Katrina Paterson with her partner Derek Kinloch dressed appropriately in fancy dress for their walk.

A Fife mum has raised over £3500 in three weeks to help her son access specialist help for his extremely rare medical condition.

Connor Paterson, from Gauldry, has lived with difficult and unexplained symptoms triggered randomly since he was born.

The 13-year-old has endured countless operations and procedures to treat the symptoms.

Now his family are keen to access specialist help to better understand Connor’s condition.

The family are taking part in a variety of activities, including fancy dress walks and auctions, to raise money towards the specialist care costing upwards of £20,000.

The couple are raising money for Katrina’s son Connor to access specialist treatment.

Katrina Paterson and her partner Derek Kinloch, 31, dressed up in wild fancy dress costumes on a sponsored winter walk on Saturday.

The pair walked from Gauldry to Dundee to raise money for Connor’s fund.

Connor often experiences bouts of extreme, recurring sickness which doctors cannot explain.

“They don’t actually have a name for what he has,” said mum Katrina, 43.

“But it creates symptoms and they name the symptoms it creates.

“Essentially his stomach to bowel paralyses and goes to sleep, and they can’t wake it back up again.

“He’ll be fine one minute, then sick every half hour for weeks.

“They can’t do anything to wake up his stomach, it’s just when his body decides.”

‘Something not right here’

Katrina said that doctors would often send the youngster home and blame his illness on a bug or reaction to injections.

“The whole time in my head I thought ‘there’s something not right here’,” said Katrina.

“He would just constantly be sick for a week.

“And because they say it’s viral, you believe them. But then he started being sick more often.

“At one point he was throwing up every 20 minutes for six weeks. He had lost so much weight, his back was like a xylophone.

“That’s when I put my foot down and said ‘there’s something not right here’.”

‘Low points’

Connor was admitted to hospital indefinitely, where doctors attempted to treat his symptoms.

The uncertainty around a diagnosis and treatment has led to some extreme lows in his life.

Katrina said: “He’s had so many needles, procedures, operations and every single time he says ‘why me?’

“He’s gone through some really low points and sometimes he couldn’t bare to continue with the treatment.

“I’ve lost count of how many attempts there have been to figure out what’s going on.”

fife fundraised fancy dress walk
Doctors think Connor was born with his condition.

However, the new fundraiser and the possibility of specialist insight into his rare condition has given Connor hope.

“I promised him that he won’t be poked and prodded and treated like a guinea pig,” said Katrina.

“It’ll be what he’s comfortable with.

“We’ve found a doctor in London, Professor Aziz, who specialises in Connor’s issues and we want to see what can be done to help him.

“He’s helped others with the same issue before.

“Connor said to me ‘if I can help one child not go through what I’ve gone through, then it’s worth it for that alone’.

“I just think that’s amazing.

“He says he wants to be a child psychologist and help other children so they don’t feel alone like he did — he’s determined.”

fife charity walk
The wild outfits garnered a lot of attention and extra donations.

Connor has met other people with the condition through the fundraiser, with a small community forming to offer support.

“They think there’s only two kids in the UK with his problem,” said Katrina.

“And not many more across the world, but Professor Aziz helped one girl we spoke to.

“So we decided to start the fundraiser three weeks ago and we’ve already managed to raise over £3500.

“Lots of people have donated things for auction and raffles.

“The sponsored walk went really well — people were tooting and waving and we got some donations on the way.

“We managed to raise £526.

“We’ve got a few more things planned, like Connor will be switching on the Gauldry Christmas lights on December 4 and we’ll be making and selling cards.

“He’s had such a hard life and if I can make it any better, I want to do that.”

People can donate towards Connor’s fund here.