Hunstanton man hopes for a cure for restless legs

PUBLISHED: 10:42 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:37 02 August 2018

Bill Cooper, from Hunstanton, who suffers restless leg syndrome   Picture: Chris Bishop

Bill Cooper, from Hunstanton, who suffers restless leg syndrome Picture: Chris Bishop


Retired marine engineer Bill Cooper, from Hunstanton, feared he had incurable Parkinson’s disease.

“My wife noticed it first, while I was sleeping,” he said. “I would kick my legs so vigorously that I would wake her up and kick her out of bed.

“It became unbearable for both of us and eventually I was admitted to Papworth Hospital for tests including a sleep deprivation test. I was diagnosed with restless leg syndrome.”

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), is a neurological disorder characterised by an irresistible urge to move the legs to stop an uncomfortable sensation at the back of the knees. Standing or walking can reduce the pain.

“The symptoms start just as I begin to relax,” said Mr Cooper. “Inevitably I have no choice but to get out of my chair or out of bed to stretch or go for a walk - this can happen many times during the evening and throughout the night.

“It has resulted in long sleepless nights and daytime fatigue which has invariably impacted on the quality of life, including my employment, and those close to me.”

Although its name indicates that it affects the legs, Mr Cooper also suffers from limb jerking during resting and sleep, referred to as periodic limb movements (PLM).

“After developing PLM I was told that I may have Parkinson’s disease,” said father-of-five Mr Cooper, 66. “But the only way to test for this was to stop my medication for 48 hours. I did this which resulted in 48 hours of pain and no sleep. However, after completing some tests after this 48 hours period it was established that I did not have Parkinson’s.”

At that time, Mr Cooper met Mr Daber and decided to support his 60/60 walk around Norfolk’s coast in aid of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.

MORE - Walking Norfolk’s coastline to fund a cure for Parkinson’s

“It is my expectation that if Parkinson’s can be cured then RLS can also be cured,” he said.

His justgiving page is here.

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