A mum has shared her heartache after her son was diagnosed with dementia at the age of just 22.

Sam Fairbairn, 47, believes that her son Andre Yarham is the youngest person in Britain to be diagnosed with the devastating disease.

Sam, who used to work as a coach driver, has quit her job to look after Andre. She noticed his first symptoms were slow movement and speech.

Andre was a normal lad who loved playing rugby and football at school.

Andre managed to land a job at luxury car maker Lotus, where he replaced ceiling fabrics. However, he had to leave after just six months, reports the Mirror.

Sam noticed that he was finding it hard to get through the day but couldn’t express what was wrong.

In November 2022, Sam noticed a change in his speech. She said: “He was always chatty. But it got to the point where you’d ask him a question and you’d just get a three or four-word answer. He’d move ever so slowly and when you’d ask him to do something, you’d just get a blank expression. Then he’d walk off as if you hadn’t asked him.”

Having previously worked with adults with learning disabilities, Sam noticed traits of autism in Andre and decided to get him tested. She said: “He scored highly on the autism test but the waiting list was five to seven years so a family member paid for us to go private. I just knew something still wasn’t quite right. He was saying less and less, and moving more slowly.”

Andre, a resident of Norwich, Norfolk, underwent an MRI scan at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in October 2023. The scan revealed that Andre’s brain’s frontal lobe had shrunk, a condition usually seen in much older people that can cause issues with behaviour and language.

Sam shared: “The consultant said it was like looking at the brain of a 70-year-old.”

Andre was then referred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where experts are conducting genome testing. His family is hopeful that these tests will reveal the cause and exact type of his dementia, but they have to wait another six months for the follow-up.

Sam expressed that Andre’s dementia, which places him among the 0.1 percent of under-65s with the condition, has been “very tough” on her, her husband Alastair, 60, and Andre’s brother Tyler, 21. She has taken on caring duties such as washing Andre, as he cannot remember how to do it himself.

Aware that Andre’s life expectancy is reduced though doctors cannot specify by how much Sam has made a bucket list for him. This includes visits to Shrek’s Adventure in London and the Harry Potter Studio Tour, if they can afford it.

She further added: “Even if there’s no cure which there isn’t for dementia any trials we can take part in would help. Although they might not work for Andre, any research might help someone else in the future and we’ll take that.”

A cruel degeneration.

Dementia is a condition where the brain slowly starts forgetting things and it gets harder to think or talk. Sometimes people’s emotions and behaviour change as well.

Sometimes, younger people can also get dementia; it’s called “young onset”. It normally happens to people who are older than 30 and younger than 65.

However, last year there was a report of a 19 year old boy from Beijing, China, being the youngest person ever suspected to have Alzheimer’s, which is a type of dementia.

This young man started forgetting things and found it hard to concentrate when he was just 17 years old. His memory got worse and worse.

Doctors ran tests on him and found clues that made them think it could be Alzheimer’s.

Before this, in the UK, the youngest person believed to have gotten dementia was a 23-year-old man. He was told that he would start showing signs of dementia and maybe even Parkinson’s disease.

You May Also Like

Congo is suffering biggest mpox outbreak ever that could soon spread to US…after arrival of new, ultra-infectious, deadly strain, CDC report warns

Health officials warn that cases of mpox have reached an all-time high…

Joe Rogan's 'brain-boosting' supplement hit with damning lawsuit for its 'blatantly false' health claims

Popular podcaster and influencer Joe Rogan has been accused of cashing in…

Almost one in three dementia patients forced to wait more than six months to learn if they have disease after first seeing a doctor, report reveals

Almost one in three dementia patients have to wait more than six…

Forget Ozempic – dieters say a $5 'accidental' weight loss drug sees them drop 30lbs in a month…

Experts have warned against a cheaper and far more accessible alternative to…