By John Siddle, PR Manager, ME Association.
A devastating disease that some experts insist is all in the mind led to the death of a young drama student, a landmark inquest today ruled.
Merryn Crofts, 21, weighed less than six stone and had spent the last three years of her life totally bed-bound with severe ME – an incurable condition that affects 250,000 people in the UK.
The youngster was unable to take more than two teaspoons of food before suffering immense gut pain and vomiting, a coroner was told.
Merryn, from Rochdale, today became only the second person in the UK to have M.E. – myalgic encephalomyelitis – listed on a death certificate.
Despite being classed as a real neurological disease, many think the condition is not real – even within the medical profession.
Merryn’s mum, Clare Norton, sobbed as she told Rochdale Coroner’s Court how her “beautiful” and “energetic” daughter was left wheelchair-bound and reliant on tube feeding.
She said: “As a child, she was a bundle of energy. She didn’t walk anywhere – she would hop, skip and jump.
“She was the kind of person that people gravitated towards. They wanted to be her friend.
“She was very social and loved drama. She was a total fashionista, a typical teenager. Her bedroom was a mess of clothes, hairspray and tan.
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