A MAN living with a rare condition which can cause his heart rate to rapidly plummet to life-threatening levels has astounded his family by completing an arduous charity challenge.

Jamie Clark, who is partially blind and has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, walked 26 laps around his East Kilbride home to raise more than £1000 for Sense Scotland.

The 22-year-old had meningitis when he was eight days old, and his parents, Suzanne and Tam, endured an anxious wait to see if their baby would survive.

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“When he came through I just remember being so relieved that we still had him,” says Suzanne.

When the country went into lockdown, the Clarks – like many other parents of children with disabilities - feared the worst.

Jamie was used to going to regular sessions at charity Sense Scotland and his parents were worried about how he would adjust to staying at home.

Suzanne said: “That first week he was home there was a dramatic change in him. He just switched off to the world. But then Sense Scotland were back in touch and have been really supportive.”

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Jamie surprised his mum and dad, and his older brother Christopher, by deciding to raise money for Sense Scotland as part of the 2.6 Challenge, an initiative set up to help charities across the UK recoup some of the money lost by the cancellation of events including the London Marathon.

Neighbours cheered and clapped as Jamie got the wheels of his walker over the finishing line.

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“That was quite something for him,” added Suzanne. “He split the challenge up over a week. You could see how difficult it was for him, how drained he was. We’re really proud of him.”

Jamie has used the charity’s services at every stage of his life and is “blossoming” at TouchBase Lanarkshire, where he usually attends.

Suzanne added: “The staff are amazing. Jamie has ‘episodes’ where his temperature can become hypothermic very rapidly and his heart rate can drop to a life-threatening level. He was hospitalised so many times that the Health Board funded specialised medical equipment which literally saves his life. Staff are all trained to use this equipment and they great with him.”

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Head of Fundraising Jen Niven, said: “Jamie’s effort is just fantastic. It’s testament to the quality of care given by our staff that the people we support go out of their way to fundraise like this for us.”

There has been another, unexpected benefit of lockdown for the Clark family.

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Suzanne said: “Jamie is non-verbal. He communicates using facial expressions and gestures. These past few weeks at home we have been discovering communication from Jamie that we weren’t aware of.”

She smiled: “He’s come through so much, he’s made of strong stuff. It’s a bit of light in a dark situation.”

To support Jamie, visit his Just Giving page online.