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MP to present mother's petition over operation to Government

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

SUPPORT: Alison Jukes and her family hand over their petition to North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg

SUPPORT: Alison Jukes and her family hand over their petition to North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg

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A petition launched to persuade health chiefs to fund an operation that will give desperately ill Alison Jukes her life back will be presented to the House of Commons on Monday.

More than 4,000 people have signed the petition that was handed to North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg by Mrs Jukes and her family.

Mr Rees-Mogg has given his support to the family and will take their cause to the heart of Government, urging ministers to look at the consistency of the availability of gastric electrical stimulation across primary care trusts.

Mrs Jukes, 43, of Charlton Park, Midsomer Norton, has gastroparesis, an illness that means her stomach has a delayed emptying rate and food does not get into her digestive system.

Unless she has an operation she faces the rest of her life being fed through a tube, a process that takes up to 15 hours to complete.

Her condition has left her so weak that she finds her life restricted and is unable to care for her family. She has lost more than 40 per cent of her body weight.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: "£87,000 of the health budget from the B&NES primary care trust is being spent on lobbying the Government on plain packaging for cigarettes and they have refused funding for this operation.

"It is such a disgrace when they show no proper concern for people in pain and distress. It is very sad when you cannot get the treatment you should have."

He added that the number of signatures on a petition for a personal health matter showed the strength of feeling in the area.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: "It shows that a significant number of people are concerned about this matter and it is an amazing achievement to get so many people to sign and show the concern people have for the arbitrary nature of the decision. I am full of admiration for the family."

Mrs Jukes is also amazed by the support for her plight by residents.

She said: "I want to thank all those people who have signed the petition and given their support so far and we will keep people updated with what is happening. I also want to thank those that have hosted the petition for me."

An e-petiton looking in general at the fairness and consistency of distribution of funding in the NHS for pacemakers has also been launched by the family.

It can be found at epetitions. direct.gov.uk.

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