Work to start on extension which will improve life of Melton granddad and ex-serviceman suffering from rare neurological condition

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A bedridden Melton granddad and ex-serviceman suffering from a very rare neurological illness has received a major boost after hearing work on a life-changing extension to his home will start on Monday.

Thomas Agnew (61), of Tamar Road, suffers from a temporary version of the incurable Locked-In Syndrome. When he has an attack, which can happen at any time, Thomas can spend hours or even days in virtually complete paralysis, unable to move anything other than his eyelids and unable to talk, despite being aware and awake during episodes.

At some point in his life Thomas, who used to serve in the Royal Artillery and at Melton’s Defence Animal Centre, could become ‘permanently locked-in’

Earlier this year the granddad-of-three was granted planning permission for a single-storey side extension to his home, something he desperately needs as he says he “can’t bare living downstairs anymore” without it.

And now building work is about to start thanks to funding being provided by the Royal British Legion.

He said: “I’m really pleased it’s all going to go ahead and I’m so grateful to the Legion. It’s going to make such a difference to my quality of life.”

Weather permitting it’s hoped the extension could be built by the end of year and possibly before Christmas.

His wife, Dorothy, said: “We’re ecstatic. Tom feels like he’s always under people’s feet but the extension will give him his own space whenever he wants a bit of time on his own.”

Thomas’ son, Jamie, added: “He’s really looking forward to it and it will give him a bit of normality back. It will be his own personal space, sanctuary and comfort zone and it will also mean he can have a proper wash as he won’t have to be bed bathed anymore.”

A ‘round the room’ hoist system, funded by NHS Continuous Healthcare, will also help Thomas get around in his new extension.

A Royal British Legion spokesman said: “We’ve provided substantial funding towards Mr Agnew’s extension and we’re very happy the build is now in progress and will enable the highest level of support for him and his family.”