Martial arts expert, 36, has one-in-60-million illness which 'freezes' his body and leaves him unable to talk, eat or drink

Yahoo News.31 October 2013

A martial arts expert has revealed how he is just one of 100 people in the world to suffer from an illness which freezes his body 'like a block of ice'.

Mitch Gooch has an ultra-rare condition, suffered by just one 60 MILLION, which turns him into a 'human statue' for days at a time.

The attacks - which occur when the levels of potassium in his body completely depletes - happen around ten times a year and leave him unable to talk, eat or drink.

The 36-year-old's type 2 Andersen-Tawil Syndrome is also linked to dwarfism and growth disorder Russell-Silver syndrome, both of which Mitch suffers from.

Since he was diagnosed in 2002, he has found the attacks become unavoidable and instantaneous, and can last for days at a time.

He said: 'I can only describe it as being frozen. You know you can move but you are just unable to. It literally feels like parts of your body are blocks of ice.

'If I suffer an attack during my sleep, then I will be paralysed from the waist down and will not be able to move myself until my potassium levels come back to normal.

'If my levels go too high, I may have a heart attack. If they drop too low, then I may slip into a coma. It is not the best thing in the world to have, but I try to remain positive.'

Mitch, of Hull, East Yorks, is hospital bound every time he suffers an attack and placed on a potassium drip.

He is cared for by his partner Amanda Hickling, and the pair are now setting up a multi-martial arts club in Hull together.

He says he will not let his illness take over his biggest passion in life.

Mitch said: 'I was born with an illness and sent to hospital, but they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.

'When I was 24, I woke up one morning fully paralysed and I couldn't move for a week.

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'Some of the staff at the hospital previously diagnosed it as growing pains, when really, it was a rare hereditary illness.

'I saw a geneticist when I turned 25, and when he performed a blood test on me, that's when I was diagnosed. As a result, I was then wheelchair bound.'

Mitch, who despite his illness is a 3rd dan martial arts expert, added: 'I have to rehabilitate myself after every attack and try to return to normal.

'My illness affects me every day of my life but I've now learned to live with it and not to quit. I now think to myself, 'Why should I be different from anyone else?''

He set up a club in Scunthorpe, Lincs., to teach martial arts to all ages and abilities in April last year, and from today will be doing the same in his home town.

He is fully qualified to instruct seven martial arts and taught partner Amanda how to demonstrate techniques he is unable to.

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