An Angus teenager who has had to fight against the odds for most of his life is about to embark on yet one more challenge to raise money for Sports Relief.
Mikael Johannesson,(19) a former pupil at Brechin High School, is to undertake a triathlon in a bid to raise funds for the charity despite suffering from a rare and severe metabolic condition that has left him with mobility and sight problems.
Mikael’s mum, Lorraine, said that he has overcome numerous problems throughout his life and despite being told that he would never walk he has defied all odds and is now attending Gardyne College in Dundee on a “next steps” course allowing him to work towards independent living.
During the triathlon Mikael, from Dun near Montrose, will swim 10 lengths of the college pool as well as walking and cycling part of the course on his specially adapted tricycle.
Mikael has been training hard for the triathlon and although it won’t be easy for him he is applying his own mantra saying;”I want to do it, I can do it, I will do it.”
Mum Lorraine who is supporting Mikael all the way, said that Mikael has had to face up to immense challenges in his life. She explained that he has propionic acidaemia which is a condition that means he is not able to break down protein naturally. It can cause dangerously high levels of ammonia to build up in his body. When he was 10 weeks old he went into a coma and had to be put on dialysis.
“We were told that he would never walk or talk but he defied all the odds and pioneering work at Ninewells Hospital helped him to become one of the first people to survive the condition,” she said.
He will be joined by about 200 other students and staff from the college at the event which takes place on Friday. It has been organised by sports lecturer Christine Calder who has ensured that people of all abilities can take part.