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Real Life

REAL LIFE: Take 5's big surprise for this brave dad battling Motor Neuron Disease

''I'd never felt so loved in all my life.''

By Mitchell Jordan

Adele Hough, 31, from Bunbury, WA, shares her story with Take 5's Mitchell Jordan:

The music was pumping and everyone in the nightclub was dancing, but I stood still watching the man on the other side of the room.
We'd first locked eyes earlier in the evening and, although he was a stranger, I felt butterflies in my stomach.
Later, he introduced himself as Scott and we danced together.
"I don't live here," I told him as we swapped numbers at the end of the night.
Home was an hour and a half away but I knew I had to see him again.
As luck would have it, we already had a connection.
After getting to know one another a bit more, we realised that my sister, Emma, and his sister, Dannielle, were neighbours and good friends.
Each weekend, I'd travel to Scott and we'd spend every minute together before I had to return home.
"Why don't you move in with me?" he asked.
Happy and in love. (Image: Supplied)
Home was where my love was and I could think of nothing better than living with Scott.
After three years together, I gave birth to our daughter, Mila, who lit up our worlds with her bright presence.
Scott was an amazing dad.
He never flinched at waking up in the middle of the night when Mila was crying and couldn't settle.
"Dinner's taken care of," he told me most days, showing off his latest culinary creation.
I'd never felt so loved in all my life.
He wrote me letters and beautiful messages in my birthday cards each year.
You compliment me in every way, he wrote.
I walk so much taller when you are by my side. I want you, I need you, and most of all, I love you with a passion that is reserved for the very few.
Scott with Mila. (Image: Supplied)
Later, on a walk to the park he proposed and we began to plan our wedding.
By then, I was pregnant with our second child.
Nine months after little Liam was born, Scott and I tied the knot in a small ceremony in the park.
Then Scott started getting tired and fatigued.
"It's nothing," he shrugged, thinking it was probably just the demands of raising two young children.
A doctor agreed and Scott, who'd always been super-fit and active, continued going to the gym and running 5km each day.
But he was becoming so weak that he was sent for tests which revealed some shocking news.
On the wedding day. (Image: Supplied)
Scott had Motor Neuron Disease, an incurable and uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves.
Hearing the doctor's words was enough to make me burst into tears.
"It's okay," Scott insisted, brave as ever.
The diagnosis rocked me: our oldest child was only two and Liam still a baby: would Scott, 48, be able to watch them grow up?
If he was worried, he didn't show it and continued going to work each day and exercising.
But things quickly started to go downhill.
He struggled to hold Liam and I had to help him get dressed each morning.
"Let me try," Scott pleaded, frustrated and worried that once I did a task for him, he'd lose his ability to do it.
The community was shocked by his diagnosis but extremely supportive.
The community got behind Scott (in wheelchair) to show their support. (Image: Supplied)
As a life member of the Bunbury Football Club, Scott's mates got behind him and they raised $35,000 for Motor Neuron Disease.
He also spoke out, sharing his story to raise awareness of the condition, which he was hopeful might one day be curable.
"How do you do it, mate?" people asked him.
Scott smiled.
"The comeback is greater than the setback," he replied, explaining that staying positive was the best thing anyone could do.
Scott continued to work until early this year when he needed assistance and could no longer use his hands or arms to perform tasks.
It broke my heart to see him no longer able to cuddle the kids, who have to sit on his lap.
"We've got to cherish each moment," Scott said.
With baby Liam. (Image: Supplied)
He began recording special videos for Mila and Liam to watch on their first day of school, their 18th and 21st birthdays.
I tried to watch one but, after just a couple of seconds, choked up completely and couldn't continue.
It seemed so unfair that such a loving father was being robbed of everything, especially now Scott's ability to speak is slowly disappearing.
But his fighting spirit is as strong as ever.
Scott has physio three days a week and loves Mila, four, and Liam, two and a half, with all his heart.
I look back on all the loving letters and cards he sent me over the years and know that night in the club was meant to be: Scott is my soul mate and
I'll forever feel blessed to have met him.
Now, we're making every day as special as we can.
Making the most of every day. (Image: Supplied)
My mum, Dorothy, entered in Take 5's Wishing Well competition on behalf of us and they granted us $5000.
We were shocked!
We plan to enjoy as many moments together as a family as possible.
We'd like to have a photoshoot so Mila and Liam will have images of their father to look back on when they're older.
But, photos or not, my heart will always be full with the love that Scott has given me.

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