Horncastle restaurant boss in plea for support to beat ‘killer’ disease

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The owner of an award-winning Horncastle restaurant has called on people to back his bid to raise vital funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Phil Cantwell, who runs the Thai Dining Room in West Street, has described (MND) as “an indiscriminate killer.”

Phil Cantwell takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Phil Cantwell takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

He lost his brother to the disease 10 years ago after what he admitted was a “harrowing experience.”

And, just a few weeks ago, the uncle of one of his chefs - Kim Watts - also died from MND.

Mr Cantwell, who also owns Scrummies Milkshakes, told the News: “MND is truly an horrendous disease.

“There is no cure. It can strike anyone. It is a horrible, indiscriminate killer.

“Some people, like Stephen Hawking, manage to live with it.

“In other cases - like my own brother - there was no escape.

“It took him two years to die. It was a harrowing experience.”

Mr Cantwell’s brother died at the age of 41 after fighting a two year battle against MND - a muscle wasting disease.

He added: “He was a normal fit and healthy guy - never really had a problem in his life.

“Then, he suffered with MND. It came out of the blue.

“He was a non-smoker, a non-drinker. He looked after himself.

“He went from being an active bloke to....

“It’s hard to describe what he went through. We just had to watch him waste away. There was nothing anyone could do.

“In the last few months, he couldn’t even lie down in his hospital bed. MND had damaged the muscles in his throat so if he lay down, he couldn’t breathe.

“He died 10 years ago - December 19. He left a wife and daughter.

“It was a harrowing time and I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through the same thing.”

Mr Cantwell admitted the death of Miss Watts’ uncle - again to MND - had proved to be a painful reminder.

He explained: “He’d battled MND for 18 months and died six weeks ago.

“Kim was obviously distraught. At least, I could be there for her because I knew what she had gone through.”

*Mr Cantwell and Miss Watts have taken part in an ice bucket challenge. People can donate via a charity box in Scrummies or alternatively text ICED55 with the amount to 70070.