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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

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Appeal to build therapy room dedicated to brave fighter Tom

A YOUNG sports star has been left needing 24-hour care after developing a devastating brain condition.

Therapy room plan: Nick and Maggie Froggatt with son Tom

By Mark White

At 18 Tom Froggatt was captain of St Bees School cricket team and young player of the year for Egremont RUFC second team.

Four years later the 22 year-old has symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s disease and now needs 24-hours-a-day care.

Now the Sunbeams Music Trust, who supports the Thornhill family, wants to build a £50,000 therapy room dedicated to Tom in the new Sunbeams centre, Penrith.

A fundraising drive has been launched and tomorrow a group of 10 Sunbeams supporters and Tom’s dad Nick are tackling 21 peaks in 24 hours to raise money.

Nick said: “We first noticed there was something wrong when Tom was at sixth form and he started to forget the names of people he had known for years. His memory and co-ordination seemed to be going. He also noticed he couldn’t throw or catch a cricket ball.”

Tom then began a gap year in Australia. However the trip was cut short following concerns about his health.

Nick said: “Tests showed that Tom had inflammation on his brain and would have to be sent home.”

Eventually he was given drugs to suppress his immune system.

“Tom went from being able to hold a conversation, toilet himself and only need supervision, to needing 24 hour care from two of us in the space of three months,” Nick explained.

“We weren’t sure about the treatment and we felt so frustrated. We felt like it was doing more harm than good and we weren’t being listened to.

“Tom’s condition was only getting worse, his condition had rapidly deteriorated since starting the treatment and ended up having a seizure.”

His condition has stabilised but Tom is still losing his cognitive ability.

Nick and Maggie worked hard to get a support team for Tom, who are of similar age to him to ensure they can engage with him and keep him socialising.

“The whole four years has had a massive effect on all of us,” said Nick. “We didn’t know what would happen from one day to the next, which was very, very hard.”

Tom has always had a keen interest in music and enjoys the Sunbeams music therapy sessions. He also continues to enjoy taking part in weekly horse riding, bowling and local festivals.

The family is also holding a family jamboree at Lowca Rugby Club on Saturday, from 2pm. Adult wristbands are £10, children are free.

Telephone Becca 07917 696445; Paul 07885 915884 or Sally 017684 83035.

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