The Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers became a child carer when he was just eight years old.
Sadly, doctors diagnosed his mum with MS and she was in a wheelchair within a year.
The TV cook, now 64, has revealed that his new responsibilities when he was a schoolboy included cooking the family meals.
Dave Myers carer – mum Margaret’s MS diagnosis
Dave Myers’ idyllic childhood was shattered at the age of eight, when his mother was diagnosed with Multiple Ssclerosis.
Within only a year she was in a wheelchair.
Only child Dave assumed the roles of both carer, cleaner and chef – and the shock and stress caused him to lose his hair.
His dad, newly retired from his job at a paper mill, also became her full-time carer.
Talking in The Hairy Bikers Go North, Dave admits that his dad’s idea of supper was a sandwich, so Dave stepped in as head chef at home.
Previously speaking about being a carer for his mum, Dave has said: “Yes, life changed.
“Becoming a carer didn’t ruin my life – I still had lots of mates – but it certainly tied my childhood down.”
He added: “I couldn’t go to bed until Mum went to bed.
“Dad would take Mum’s legs and I’d take her arms and we’d carry her up the stairs each night.”
Of course, the hardest thing for Dave was watching his once vivacious mother become a shell of her former self.
Dave Myers carer – young Dave started cooking
Dave admits that during the first year after his mum’s diagnosis, his dad “did his best”.
He says: “For the first year, we lived on a diet of instant potato, tinned meat and tinned peas.
“It soon became clear that if we were going to survive, we’d both need to learn to cook properly.”
He adds: “We found a cookbook that had come with the cooker, dated from the end of the Second World War.
“One of the first things I ever cooked on my own was a cheese and potato pie.”
Dave’s mum Margaret gained weight as a result of being confined to a wheelchair.
When the doctor advised her to diet, the whole family joined in and carer Dave learnt how to make “complicated salads with all kinds of ingredients, such as tinned salmon and peeled cucumbers”.
What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord.
It causes a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.
It’s a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability.
In many cases, it’s possible to treat symptoms.
Average life expectancy is slightly reduced for people with MS.
Dave Myers carer – what happened to his dad?
When Dave was 17, tragedy struck for a second time.
His father Jim, then 72, suffered a debilitating stroke.
Talking about being a carer, Dave says: “I put Dad in his bed and put Mum in my bedroom, with a commode.
“I had no idea what I was going to do.
“Fortunately, when the district nurse came round, she realised I couldn’t cope on my own.
“She sent another doctor, who asked, ‘Which parent do you think you can cope better with?'”
Dave made the difficult decision to stay with his dad, who had a chance of getting better.
Dave’s mum subsequently went into hospital and, because she was 60, was put on the geriatric ward.
She never went home again and died four years later.
When Dave was 20, his father died following a second stroke.
Who is Dave Myers’ wife? What nationality is she?
Dave Myers married Liliana Orzac, a fashion designer, in his home town of Barrow-in-Furness in 2011.
She is Romanian.
They met in 2005 when he and fellow Hairy Biker Si King were filming in Romania, and she was the manager of their hotel.
Former child carer Dave later told The Mirror: “It was love, or lust, at first sight, but probably not on her part!
“We became pen pals and love grew from there.”
They pair now live together in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria.
Dave Myers carer: How old is he and where is he from?
Dave James Myers was born on September 8 1957 in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire.
He is currently 64 years of age.
The Hairy Biker studied fine art at Goldsmiths in London.
By the time he had graduated, he’d lost both parents after being a carer for them as a child.
The Hairy Bikers Go North airs on Thursday October 14 2021 at 8pm on BBC Two.
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