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Parents appeal after son diagnosed with rare Alpers disorder

Ryan Stanford

A four-year-old boy from Lancaster has been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Alpers.

Ryan Stanford's family are raising money to fund research as so little is known about the condition, what causes it or how to find a cure.

Ryan Stanworth

Alpers affects one in 200,000 children and it occurs when two people with the gene defect have children.

Ryan is fed directly to his stomach by a tube, he is virtually blind, has no cognitive senses and cannot support his own head. He has no quality of life

Ryan Stanford

The Stanfords have been raising money to fund research through an undergraduate programme. So far they have raised £82,000.

For more information, please visit or if you would like to donate please visit ](

Norovirus outbreak shuts Royal Lancaster Infirmary

Royal Lancaster Infirmary Credit: ITV Granada

The Royal Lancaster Infirmary has closed to visitors after a significant outbreak of norovirus.

The hospital will remain closed for at least two days after around 140 patients and 20 staff were affected by symptoms of the winter vomiting bug.

People with extenuating circumstances, such as needing to visit loved ones who are seriously ill, are being asked to call ahead to the ward to arrange visits.

Click here for our guide on what to do if you think you may have the bug.


MP calls for liquid nitrogen cocktail ban

A Lancashire MP is calling for cocktails made with liquid nitrogen to be banned.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris made the call after hearing of Gaby Scanlon's story.

Gaby, 18, had to have her stomach removed after drinking one of the cocktails at a bar in Lancaster.

“Fistly, my thoughts are with Gaby and her parents at this truly horrific time. I am incredibly angry that such a drink has seriously injured one of my constituents, that is one constituent too many.

“I would like to see these drinks banned from sale so we do not see anyone else’s son or daughter injured or even killed.

“Additionally, I think it is right to praise the staff at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the emergency services who saved Gaby’s life.”

– David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale

Food Standards Agency puts out warning on liquid nitrogen cocktails

“Liquid nitrogen is a chemical used to chill and freeze food. It’s not toxic. The problem is the extreme cold temperature. It’s this that makes liquid nitrogen unsafe for people to drink and eat because the human body is not built to cope with such a cold internal temperature. The FSA is advising people to take care when drinking cocktails made with this substance.

“We will be making local enforcement officers aware of this practice and reminding businesses of their responsibility to make sure that any food or drink they are serving to the public is safe.”

– Food Standards Agency


Licensing boss has tried the liquid nitrogen drink that nearly killed a teenager

The councillor in charge of licensing in Lancaster has admitted trying the liquid nitrogen cocktail that nearly killed 18-year-old Gaby Scanlon.

Paul Aitchison, chairman of Lancaster City Council's Licensing Committee, was at the same bar a few months ago and tried the Nitro Jagermeister drink.

"I heard about this story this morning and I was quite shocked because I have actually tried it myself. It was quite scary to think that it could have possibly happened to me.

"I thought it sounded interesting, that's probably one of the draws. You assume the drinks served in licensed premises will be safe.

"I didn't have an adverse reaction to it. Unfortunately Gaby has and my heart goes out to her and I hope that she gets better."

– Cllr Paul Aitchison, Chairman of Lancaster City Council's Licensing Act Committee

School friends 'shocked and upset' that 18-year-old Gaby Scanlan almost died drinking liquid nitrogen cocktail

Gaby is one of our most hardworking and mature students who had simply gone out to celebrate her birthday. Our whole school community is shocked and upset at what has happened.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gaby, her family and her friends who are obviously upset and distressed. We are pleased to hear that she is making better than expected progress.

– Ripley St Thomas High School, Lancaster
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