Jack Kane was 23 years old when he proposed to his girlfriend, Emma Clarke. The pair of was set to get married just eight days after the proposal despite Jack’s diagnosis. Jack was told that he had a terminal cancerous tumor on his spine. He was told he only had weeks to live.
What originally started as severe back pain and hypersensitivity in his legs led to eventual immobility.
The doctors then diagnosed Jack with a ‘terminal’ cancer in his spine.
Given the bad news, the couple was set to get married at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough just eight days after his proposal.
But it turned out that the doctors had misdiagnosed Jack! What they thought was a ‘terminal’ cancer was, in fact, a rare neurological condition called neuromyelitis optica, also known as Devic’s Disease.
This syndrome is a heterogenous condition that causes inflammation and demyelination (affects communication in neurons) of the optic nerve and the spinal cord. In 30 percent of cases, this condition can be fatal.
However, Jack had nothing but compliments for the staff over at the hospital. “The staff on ward 27 have also been truly amazing right from the beginning,” Jack said, “If you have a question to ask or if you just need someone there to put a hand on your shoulder, they are there for you. We class them as family.” The couple then decided to keep the good news a secret from their wedding guests and instead just informed their immediate family.
It was during his wedding speech, in his wheelchair, where Jack broke the good news to the crowd of more than 130 guests.
He tears up as he begins to talk: ‘the doctors have done some further tests and they came back positive – I am not terminal.’
The newly Mrs. Kane spoke about that particular moment: “For a moment you could have heard a pin drop in the room of about 130 people then it sank in and we had tears, cheers and everyone clapping. It was a moment I’ll never forget.”
Jack, who is an accounts manager, says that he is currently receiving further treatment at the hospital. “My legs may never come back but there are people worse off than me. I won’t be beaten by something I can’t see.”