Norfolk survivor of rare illness shares story of pain

Ross Buggins, who has recovered from a serious brain condition.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Ross Buggins, who has recovered from a serious brain condition.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

It was a six-month ordeal which saw Ross Buggins slip swiftly from feeling a bit 'down in the dumps' to being sectioned under the Mental Health Act and spending days in coma-like sleeps.

But having made a full recovery, Mr Buggins, an IT consultant, will today share his experiences of the condition he suffered as part of a roadshow organised by a national charity.

The 30-year-old, of Dereham Road, is one of a few people who has suffered from a rare form of encephalitis, a condition he describes as 'the body attacking itself'.

Almost all cases of Mr Buggins' form of encephalitis (known as anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis) are contracted by women with ovarian cancer, but inexplicably Mr Buggins also became a victim of the life-threatening disease.

His ordeal began in May 2014 and saw him sink from feeling 'down in the dumps' to having suicidal thoughts in August.

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He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and spent three months at Hellesdon Hospital before starting to fall into coma-like sleeps lasting most of the day.

That prompted doctors into referring him to the N&N, where he was finally diagnosed and treated for encephalitis.

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Since then Mr Buggins has made a full recovery and today he will share his experiences of the disease at a roadshow organised by national charity the Encephalitis Society, which wants to raise awareness of the condition.

'It felt like my brain was on fire,' he said. 'It is completely bonkers how it just happened to me out of nothing.'

The condition can leave survivors with memory loss and make it hard for them to return to education or work. Mr Buggins said he received counselling, support, and advice from the Encephalitis Society after being discharged from hospital.

The charity's roadshow will be at the Forum, Norwich, today from 10am-4pm.

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