Heartbroken family say final farewell to Sunderland dad who died hours after Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis

The grieving family of Michael Wilson have said their final farewell to a beloved father who despite suffering from a cruel condition always put others first.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 2:38 pm
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 2:39 pm
Mourners gathered to say a final farewell to Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson died suddenly after being rushed into hospital on Saturday, February 1 just hours after doctors discovered the 53-year-old had Motor Neurone Disease.

Michael, who was a full time carer for his mum Irene Wilson, had struggled with illness for 18 months and had began to lose weight and struggled to walk.

But he refused to go to the doctors over fears he would be told he had an incurable disease and despite his struggles always continued to put others first.

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Michael Wilson coffin is carried into Sunderland Crematorium

Just hours before he died, doctors suspected the dad-of-three was suffering with Motor Neurone Disease and said they couldn’t believe he had managed to battled on for so long without any medical treatment.

On Thursday, February 20, family and friends gathered at Sunderland Crematorium to say their last goodbye to the ‘caring’ son and held him in their thoughts as they listened to Wind of Change by Scorpions and Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.

Graeme Flaxen, who led the service, said: “Over the last few years had been caring for both his mam and dad, he did an amazing job. His father passed away seven years ago and he’s continued caring for his mam but around 18 months ago he started losing weight and his arms and hands eventually started to cramp up.

Floral tributes

“Despite his ailments Michael still cared for his mam but his condition was progressively getting worse to the point where he could hardly walk.

“Eventually he was taken into the hospital on February 1, Michael was really ill. Examinations revealed he actually had Motor Neurone Disease. Doctors intended to treat it but were amazed that he had still been at home because he was actually so ill.

Adding: “He was hiding his illness from the ones he loved and that was in an effort to protect everyone else. Even if he had no idea what illness he actually had, it’s still so brave that he looked after his mother while he was so ill.

“I want to remember the man he was and the lives he touched.”

Michael Wilson with son Anthony Potter

Michael lived in Farringdon but spent a lot of time caring for his mum at her Plains Farm home.

The 53-year-old, who had previously served in the Territorial Army, dedicated his time to tend to his mother's garden and was interested in astronomy and had bought his own telescope.

Mr Flaxen added: “He was very kind, he was someone who would give you his last. He was also sociable and friendly. Michael who is remembered as someone who was calm, easygoing and placid. He wasn’t a soft touch he would never be pushed around but he had a lovely character."

Mourners were able to donate to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Flowers in memory of Michael Wilson
A photograph of Michael Wilson sits at the head of his coffin.
Flowers in memory of Michael
A message attached to flowers in memory of Michael Wilson Picture by FRANK REID