My cjd girl is dying while farmers get rich; payouts slammed by father

My cjd girl is dying while farmers get rich; payouts slammed by father

August 7, 2001 The Mirror by Ken Banks

THE furious dad of a woman dying from mad cow disease has slammed the quick payouts to foot and mouth farmers - while CJD victims are left out in the cold.

Billy McIntyre, whose daughter Donna, 22, is terminally ill with CJD, hit out yesterday after learning of the multi-million pound payouts to farmers.

The 55-year-old was outraged when he heard that one Dumfries-shire farmer, Jim Goldie, had recently received pounds 4.2million for the loss of his cows.

Mr McIntyre, 55, said: "My feelings are of disgust - both the Government and farmers must think more of animals than human beings like my Donna.

"I have said all along that you can replace animals but you cannot replace human beings.

"The farmers are being paid huge sums while we are fighting for compensation for Donna.

"I still have no idea how much we can hope for or what the Government will offer.

"I have got a bit of sympathy for some of the farmers but some are becoming millionaires through compensation.

"I am disgusted and angry, I do not think it's right - it's ridiculous."

Mr McIntyre has the support of partner Bernadette, son William, 23, and daughter Lisa, 21, in looking after Donna, who is now a shadow of her former self, at their home in Aberdeen.

Billy said: "She is deteriorating day by day but is comfortable at the moment, that's all I can say. It will never stabilise. She can't do anything, she can't speak, or eat anything and is fed through a tube.

"She can barely communicate. We may get a smile sometimes and that's the only way she can let us know what she's thinking.

"She knows what we are saying but she has no way of voicing her opinions, of telling us what she's thinking.

"Words can't describe what it is like watching her, I feel so helpless.

"We hope that she'll survive as long as possible but we just have to take each day one at a time.

"The family are coping as best they can. It's been terrible for them but my partner and kids have been very supportive although it's been really difficult for us all."

Alarm bells first sounded in August last year when Mr McIntyre noticed that his daughter was not walking properly and was dragging a leg.

She was admitted to hospital for tests and soon after doctors broke the devastating news to Mr McIntyre that Donna was the latest victim of new variant Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease.

Billy even gave up his job to devote himself full-time to Donna's care.

He tries to keep his emotions in check, only venting anger at previous Tory Governments which he says tried to conceal the scale of the BSE problem.

He said: "I have this feeling of total anger towards that Government. They knew what they were doing. I blame them for what has happened to Donna."

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