June 3rd, 2022
My name is Todd Nugent and I am 69 years old. I was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in June 2010.
I live in Mullingar with my wife, Patricia. We have one son, Conor. I have been an insulin dependent diabetic for the past forty-five years. In December 2003, I contracted a bacterial strain of meningitis, known as listeria. This left me with peripheral neuropathy and resulted in significant nerve damage to my feet. I was out of work for eighteen months and after returning for a short period, was forced to retire on the grounds of ill health.
In January 2009, I began to notice a periodic drag in my right leg. A subsequent MRI scan showed nothing unusual. In March the following year, nerve conduction studies revealed possible signs of MND. I was referred to Professor Orla Hardiman. After a number of consultations, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s were ruled out. MND was later diagnosed. Professor Hardiman explained the exact strain of the illness could not be determined for a number of years. I was hopeful I could avoid the worst outcome. In 2014, a diagnosis of Primary Lateral Sclerosis was confirmed. This meant the most common symptoms of MND could develop gradually, over a number of years.
MND has primarily impacted my mobility. I use a walking stick around the house and a rollator for trips outside. The IMNDA installed a stair lift, which has significantly improved my quality of life. I am still able to use a car, as the vehicle has been adapted to operate with my hands.
What does the future hold? Well, who knows? I have three guiding principles – take things one day at a time, focus on what I can do as opposed to what I can’t and remember that the glass is always half full, not half empty.
I would like to thank all the people who have helped me throughout this journey. My wife, Patricia, my son, Conor, my family and friends and of course, Professor Hardiman and the team in Beaumont Hospital. I am particularly grateful to the IMNDA, for their constant help and support over the years.