A MAN is raising money for his best friend to get medical treatment after he was diagnosed with a "very rare and serious" condition that has meant he has had to learn how to breathe and walk again.

53-year-old Dai Colbeck and Shaun James Wilson, 36, from Ellesmere Port, met through work and instantly became friends. 

After not seeing each other for a while, due to Shaun moving to a different company, the pair re-connected during the pandemic as they both had a "passion for the outdoors".

Shaun said: "We wanted to get into wild camping and we were messaging all the time trying to plan it.

"I ended up creating a YouTube channel and documented us both galivanting round the hills, hiking and having bevvies together."

In July 2022, Louise McCourt, Dai's fiancée, called Shaun to tell him Dai had been taken into hospital with an unknown condition that was taking over his whole body.

Chester and District Standard: Dai proposed to Louise while he was in hospitalDai proposed to Louise while he was in hospital (Image: Shaun James Wilson)

At the time of the call, he couldn't move his arms and legs and the paralysis was spreading quickly.

In less than 24 hours of initial symptoms, the doctors took the decision to put Dai into an induced coma and put him on life support. The illness had taken over his whole body to the point that he couldn't swallow or breathe on his own.

Dai remained in the induced coma for two weeks on the ICU ward at The Countess of Chester Hospital.

During this time he fought off numerous complications, including severely high blood pressure and a punctured lung.

Dai was diagnosed as having an extremely rare illness called Guillain-Barré syndrome, an illness where a persons own immune system attacks the bodies central nervous system.

After 2 weeks of being in an induced coma, the doctors began to wake Dai up. He was totally paralysed and still on life support, on which he remained for a further two months.

Shaun added: "He was in a position where he faced having to re-learn everything, from breathing to walking, he would have to learn it all again from scratch, things that everyone takes for granted.

"When Dai was finally able to come off life support, and after a short stint in one of the stroke wards at The Countess, Dai was transferred to Clatterbridge hospital rehab centre, where he continued to receive around the clock care and undergo physiotherapy in a bid to get him well enough to return home.

"Week by week, month by month, Dai worked his socks off to improve his condition so that he could finally return home to his family."

Chester and District Standard: Dai returning homeDai returning home (Image: Shaun James Wilson)

Dai is now out of hospital and is making progress, however, there is still a long way to go and he currently has one physio therapy session per week from the NHS, but specialists continue to say that increasing the volume of these sessions will help Dai recover quicker.

Shaun has now set up a GoFundMe page to raise money so his best mate, who he says is "one of the greatest men you will ever meet" can get private physiotherapy sessions.

The fund raising target was set at £2,040, which equates to £85 per session per week, from now until his wedding day with Louise, which is set for March 2024.

To donate to Dai, click here.

However, the donations are already way over the target, at over £3,000.

Shaun added: "Each session is a step forward to Dai being able to achieve his goal. The more we can raise the better for Dai.

"It was heart breaking making the GoFundMe because took us back to where he was but we can see where he is now.

"We don’t ever think he’ll get the strength back to go up the mountains but we want him to be able to walk down the aisle for his wedding.

"He is massively overwhelmed with the support he's received so far."