Teenager’s plea to prime minister

A teenager from North Somerset with a life-threatening illness is meeting the Prime Minister to ask him for more help in funding research into his condition.

Matthew Barrett, 13, suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a muscle-wasting disease in men which cuts life expectancy to about 20 to 25 years.

Doctors have said Matthew may be three-quarters of the way through his life.

“If we get the money we need he will have the chance of 10 years on his life,” said Matthew’s father Gary.

The genetic muscle-wasting condition can lead to spinal, heart and lung problems.

Matthew, from Worle, has been to Downing Street four times previously to push for more funding

Mr Barrett added: “There are several (clinical) trials going on and we want to keep the pressure on.

“We’re going to keep lobbying parliament until we get what we need.”

Copyright 2009 BBC News