Politician struck down by rare condition

A LEADING Ipswich politician has today spoken for the first time about a rare condition that left him fearing for his career.Steven Wells, responsible for housing at Ipswich Borough Council, was struck down with a mystery illness around four months ago.

A LEADING Ipswich politician has today spoken for the first time about a rare condition that left him fearing for his career.

Steven Wells, responsible for housing at Ipswich Borough Council, was struck down with a mystery illness around four months ago.

Initially it was feared the 33-year-old, who was suffering excruciating headaches, had contracted meningitis.

Following a number of tests, operations, and stays at both Ipswich and Addenbrooke's Hospital, it was established he had suffered a spinal tear and leaking fluid was prompting his painful symptoms.

Mr Wells said he is now on the mend and expects to make a gradual recovery over the next six months but told The Evening Star the experience was terrifying.

“There was a time when I was laying there and I couldn't stop thinking what happens if this doesn't get better,” he said.

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“I could barely walk and barely talk.

“The pain from my head was near on unbearable and I couldn't get away from it.

“I normally spend 30 or 40 hours a week in the office and a further 35 hours a week doing council work,” he said.

“I'm non-stop and to be suddenly floored is a realisation of how lucky you are to be able to do something.”

Mr Wells said he viewed his illness so seriously he considered resigning from his post on the borough council's executive.

“I asked the leader [Liz Harsant] if she wanted my resignation but she said no.

“She has been an absolute rock and has helped cut my workload while I was off.

“The amount of support I have had from the people around me has been immense and I'm very grateful to them.”

Mr Wells has been told it will be up to six months until the tear is fully healed and he stops experiencing the debilitating effects fully.