A BRAVE teenager with a rare debilitating genetic disorder which has left him wheelchair bound needs help from the public to regain his independence.

The family, friends and neighbours of Luke Quin, 17, are raising money to help fund an accessible downstairs bedroom and wetroom for him at his home in Marks Tey.

Just over two-years-ago, the teenager's life was completely turned upside down when he became seriously ill with a mystery condition.

Mum Kay Quin said: "He came home from a school trip and was complaining about backache.

"At first we put it down to the different bed he had been sleeping in on the trip.

"One day he went to jump on his bed and suddenly ruptured his aorta. He lost all feeling in his legs."

Luke was rushed to hospital where it was discovered he had suffered a serious injury to his spinal chord. He suffered renal failure and the muscles in his lower legs died and had to be removed.

He spent three-weeks in intensive care before suffering another burst in the aortic arch for which he needed more urgent surgery.

Aged 15 at the time, he was transferred to Evelina Children's Hospital in London where he underwent another life-saving operation.

It wasn't until he entered rehab after the operation doctors were able to diagnose Luke with Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a condition which affects the body's connective tissue which provides support in things like the skin, tendons, blood vessels, internal organs and bones.

Mrs Quin said: "It is an extremely rare condition which means he has no collagen in his body.

"He cannot lift heavy things because something could rip at any time.

"He cannot get knocked or if he has a fall he would have to go to hospital to check if everything was still ok."

Including four months of rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Luke missed the whole of his year 11 studies at Honywood School in Coggeshall.

But not allowing his condition to hold him back, he repeated the year and just this month started a video game and media course at Colchester Institute.

Mrs Quin said: "It has been very hard on him but he is a very positive lad. He has always got a smile on his face.

"He has down days of course and his life has completely changed. He uses an assisted wheelchair.

"But he has just learned to drive and he has a hand controlled car so he can have a bit of independence."

His family want to give Luke more independence by adding a new bedroom on the ground floor of the family home.

They also want to create a wet room, adapt the garden and are looking to get a new life-changing attachment for his wheelchair.

Sadly all of this costs money and so Luke's army of supporters have been raising money for the family since June.

Mrs Quin said: "It will mean I won't have to help him do everything any more.

"He will be able to have a bit of independence back, which is very important for a 17-year-old.

"Anything people are willing to help with would be amazing."

The family are planning a series of fundraisers over the coming months and hope to raise £25,000.

If you are able to help with things like materials for building work or the fundraising drive, contact the Gazette on 01206 508288.

Donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/luke-quin.