'Lockdown has accelerated my demise' Rob Burrow says lockdown has made his MND worse

Rob Burrows -

Rob Burrow believes lockdown has "accelerated his demise" with MND spreading to other parts of his body.

The former Leeds Rhinos Rugby League player described Lockdown as 'a prison sentence' in his upcoming book 'Too Many Reasons to Live'.

Burrow now has weakness in his arms and legs and uses a specially designed machine that helps him speak.

The 38-year-old was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, a degenerative nerve condition that currently has no cure, in December 2019.

In an Interview with ITV Calendar at Headingley Stadium, he told Duncan Wood: "I believe lockdown has accelerated my demise because it got me out of my routine."

Rob said: "I was still coaching and living a pretty normal life, I've declined a lot since then because you become more centric."

He continued: "It might be pure coincidence but I would love to see myself without the pandemic."

His wife Lindsey agrees as she revealed the illness has taken hold faster than they had anticipated.

"He probably has declined a lot quicker than I think a lot of us expected him to do.

"I think when Rob was initially diagnosed it was just his speech that was affected but it's manifested itself quite quickly in terms of other parts of his body with weakness in his hands and legs."

In the hour-long interview, the couple gave an insight into day to day life in the Burrow household.

Lindsey said: "Rob pretty much needs help with everything so I help him up in the morning, get him washed and dressed and feed him his breakfast, sort his tablets out.

"He'll sit and watch television and I'll make him his breakfast and get him his lunch and take him to the toilet throughout the day.

"In between that there's the kids, picking them up from school and taking them here, there and everywhere so it's quite full-on but Rob needs help with pretty much everything."

In his book, which is released on August 19th, Burrow revealed that they have kept adaptations in their home to a minimum as they don't want their kids growing up in a hospital-style environment.

The book goes on to reveal that Lindsey carries Rob upstairs to bed every night.

When asked Lindsey said: "We wanted to keep everything as normal as possible and as least clinical as possible. As long as Rob can use his legs we'll keep him going.

"When you start to be reliant on aids and adaptations that you become reliant on them so I think being a physiotherapist you know 'no pain no gain' sort of thing, we'll keep him going as long as we can do."

Rob told presenter Duncan about how much he admires his wife for looking after her and that MND doesn't just affect him but his whole family.

"You would not imagine how much Lindsey's life has changed," he said.

"It affects the sufferer but also the whole family, especially my wife. She has to do the horrible stuff you don't ever talk about."

He continued: "You expect to have to do these sorts of things when you are old and have been together for ages. I couldn't function without her, it's that simple.

"You'd not imagine how hard it is to carry me around. Thank god I'm only small because I think it would be impossible for her. I could not get through this without the love and support of Lindsey."

Despite the illness spreading to other parts of his body Rob fully intends to see his three children, Macy, Maya and son Jackson grow up.

"I always say to them every night before bed 'Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land amongst the stars," he said.

Rob with his three children after his testimonial game in January 2020 Credit: PA

At the end the interview, Rob just had a bit of time to play the Yes/No game, showing he's clearly still got his strong sense of humour:

Researchers in Sheffield working on treatments for motor neurone disease say they're making good progress, but need more funding. The Department of Health and Social Care says it supports their work.

Scientists want to establish centres of excellence for research. Watch Katie Oscroft's report: