‘Who will look after our children?’ Mother and father contemplate leaving their son and daughter orphans after BOTH are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
He was diagnosed in April with the progressive condition which attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, stopping the muscles working.
To watch them joking with one another, laughing and smiling as they play with their children, it is hard to believe any heartache lies behind the Coulston’s perfect family picture.
But the couple, of Ulverston, Cumbria, are having to make plans no parents of young children should ever have to make.
Mrs Coulston said: ‘We’ve had to think about guardianship for the children, trustees – all the questions you don’t want to have to ask or the places you don’t want to go, we’ve had to sit down and realistically think about.’
Her husband added: ‘We’re lucky in that we’ve got a really good support network of family and friends. That’s everything – it’s what keeps you going day to day.’
Last summer I thought I’d injured my hip – I was struggling to walk on my right leg. Then just before Christmas, when I was on the treadmill, my right leg kept catching. I was able to lift more weights with my left hand than with my right.’
He was finally diagnosed in April.’All I knew about Motor Neurone Disease was Stephen Hawking,’ he said.
As MND affects everyone differently, some people live for longer than five years, while others have less than three.
Mr Coulston is taking drugs aimed at slowing the disease’s progress, and is back at work as deputy head of St George’s Primary School in Barrow.