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I nearly died opening my curtains: Campaigner Gordon Aikman reveals Motor Neurone Disease fight in new documentary

Gordon Aikman (centre) meets Scottish party leaders (Danny Lawson/PA Wire)
Gordon Aikman (centre) meets Scottish party leaders (Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

MOTOR neurone disease campaigner Gordon Aikman has revealed how he nearly died trying to open his curtains.

The 30-year-old has led a high-profile campaign to have better funding and care for patients with the condition after being diagnosed with the terminal condition 18 months ago.

But as his own health deteriorates, everyday chores have become impossible and the simple task of pulling back his curtains left him in hospital recently.

The former political campaigner reveals the scary moment in a new documentary, The Fight Of Gordon’s Life, being shown tomorrow night.

“I was using my teeth to open the curtains, biting them and using the power in my wheelchair to pull them open,” he explained.

“I went over the side of my wheelchair and my head was just inches from the floor.

“I thought it was such a c**p way to die, so I knew I had to chuck myself on the floor so I could breathe. But then my feet and legs got tangled up in the wheelchair and that cut off the blood supply to my legs.

“I was trying to shout out the door, but no one was coming.”

Gordon lay there for five hours, helpless.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone than I did on the carpet that day,” he admitted.

“I was an absolute mess when they found me. I was sobbing, delirious and I had been sick.”


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It was a hard knock to his confidence and sense of independence and he was forced to spend a week in hospital, but he continues to fight on and campaign for improved care for MND sufferers.

Last November, Gordon admitted he expected to be dead in a year.

Although his condition has worsened considerably over the 12 months the cameras follow him, to the point where he can no longer walk, drive or wash and feed himself, he is refusing to give up.

He married his partner, Joe, in one of the last times he was able to walk.

Last month he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his fundraising efforts.

Gordon’s campaigning has secured funding from the Scottish Government to double the number of specialist MND nurses and given a statutory right to voice equipment for everyone who requires it.

He has a special message for his family.

“It’s not going to be easy for my mum to see her son pass in her lifetime or for Joe to see his husband die.

“But I want them to know I love them more than anything and I couldn’t be more grateful to them.”

The Fight Of Gordon’s Life is on BBC One Scotland tomorrow at 8.30pm.