A desperate family has appealed to the kindness of strangers to diagnose a father-of-two’s debilitating mystery illness.
In May, freight co-ordinator Michael McFarlane, 32, was struck down with chronic throat and chest pain so severe it led to fainting spells.
Since then, doctors have tried several treatments to ease the symptoms, including invasive surgery to reverse an anti-acid reflux operation he had six years ago, to no avail.
A raft of tests including an endoscopy, CT scan and ultrasound also provided no answers, leaving his family “devastated” at the lack of progress.
Mr McFarlane is now so ill he requires a wheelchair when travelling outside his Ellon home, and is “barely able” to hold or play with his two young children Alba, three, and nine-month-old Arran.
His wife Ruth said: “Michael currently has no quality of life. He isn’t able to care for himself, let alone his children.
“He isn’t able to prepare his own meals or go out for a walk. All things we take for granted.”
The family suspect it may be one of two illnesses caused by damaged blood vessels – median arcuate ligament syndrome or superior mesenteric artery syndrome.
Mrs McFarlane added: “These conditions are so specialist that Michael’s consultant in Aberdeen hadn’t heard of either of these.
“It is extremely important that a specialist looks at the imaging, as they know what to look for.
“They can be easily missed by a doctor who has not seen these conditions before.”
An online crowdfunding page has been launched, hoping to raise £5,000 for Mr McFarlane to undergo specialist tests in London.
His wife explained: “Unfortunately our savings have now been spent on the testing and consultation we have already had to get privately.
“Michael has been out of work since May.
“I return to work after being on maternity leave this month and will be paying for childcare as Michael is unable to care for them.
“Michael is desperate to be fit and well, back to work, socialising with friends and spending time with his children, playing on the floor and throwing them in the air.”
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpmichael