A former teacher with a terminal condition is appealing for donations to be able to spend his last few years with his grandchildren.

Martin Sawyer, from Rushmere St Andrew near Ipswich, says he is currently bed-bound after being diagnosed with a severe lung condition some months ago.

The 53-year-old was taken into intensive care at Ipswich Hospital as he was struggling to breathe and passing out, and his oxygen level was recorded at around 60%.

He was diagnosed with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema, damage to the air sacs.

Mr Sawyer currently relies on a large oxygen tank that is about the size of a large suitcase to dispense a high level of six litres of oxygen a minute.

Ipswich Star: Martin Sawyer, 53.Martin Sawyer, 53. (Image: Martin Sawyer,)

He is now trying to raise funds of £2,800 to purchase a much smaller and lighter portable oxygen concentrator to enjoy the time he has left with the terminal condition.

"I am virtually bed bound because the machine is very large and I can't even lift it off the floor," Mr Sawyer said.

"The condition has taken over my life. You just become a prisoner. I am 53 but I now have the lifestyle of an 80-year-old.

Ipswich Star: The oxygen tank is the size of a suitcase.The oxygen tank is the size of a suitcase. (Image: Martin Sawyer)

"I did have fibromyalgia before this, but I could at least go out in my wheelchair. Now it's just impossible."

While the chance of developing the condition is increased with smoking, some cases are caused by exposure to harmful fumes or dust.

The former British School Lanzarote teacher says that when he used to live in Spain two decades ago, he may have been exposed to asbestos or another irritant when he took part in a small construction project.

Ipswich Star: Mr Sawyer was treated at Ipswich HospitalMr Sawyer was treated at Ipswich Hospital (Image: Newsquest)


Mr Sawyer added: "The diagnosis was a huge shock. When you look online, my life expectancy may only be a few years.

"It would mean I would be able to go to hospital appointments, and can take my grandchildren on a day out. I can't explain how much of a difference it would make.

"I don't want my grandchildren to have memories of me in bed. I would like to be able to take them out to Felixstowe for an hour. Every minute counts now."

To donate, visit: www.gofundme.com/f/gtjjfy-purchase-a-portable-oxygen-concentrator