Former soccer player Tristan Marsh, who is crippled by a rare illness, has moved into a new extension at his home.
Many of his friends have rallied round to support Mr Marsh, 33, who suffers from Marfan’s syndrome. Normally genetic, Mr Marsh’s condition cannot be traced back to any family member and therefore doctors regard it as “a spontaneous mutation”, said his mother Janet Limond.
Mrs Limond and her husband Alistair have had a huge extension built onto their home in Manton Hollow, Marlborough, to give Mr Marsh his own space where he can entertain his friends.
His new bed-sitting room, which is over seven metres wide and long, is fitted with a specially long bed for Mr Marsh, 6ft 10ins, who worked in the Carphone Warehouse shop in Marlborough until his illness forced him to stop.
It also has a 120-inch projector TV that can be seen from all parts of the room, even from Mr Marsh’s bed which had to be imported from Switzerland. His extra-high loo was also made there.
His new room is also en suite with a dressing area and has a wet room with toilet and shower.
It has taken more than three months to build the extension that gives Mr Marsh a room the size of a small hall compared with the tiny downstairs bedroom he had lived in after returning home.
Until two-and-a-half years ago, Mr Marsh led an independent life until his advancing illness forced him to give up his own flat.
He could no longer play football every Tuesday evening with his close friends.
Mr Marsh was 15 when doctors diagnosed him with Marfan’s, which is a rare disorder of the connective tissues. Sufferers are typically unusually tall with long limbs.
The worst symptom is chronic pain and Mr Marsh said he had to balance his pain-killing medication, taking enough tablets to reduce the pain but not enough to leave him drugged ‘like a zombie’.
He said: “I am in pain all of the time, that’s the worst part of it. It’s so bad I can’t sleep.
“I try to keep a smile on my face but it’s hard.”
His ambition as a boy was to be a professional footballer and play for his favourite team Everton, but now his life is largely confined to his one room where he likes to entertain his friends. As most of them have jobs he does not see them as much as he would like.
But the move into his own room has left Mr Marsh feeling rather depressed, he admitted this week. He said: “I thought that having my own space would help my problems but, of course, I am still in pain all the time so I am feeling a bit down.”
However, he said that with the help of his friends he would soon regain his normally exuberant spirit.