Andy Lee reflects on his mum’s debilitating battle with brain illness: ‘She forgot who we were’

Andy Lee opened up about his mother’s battle with a rare brain illness, which left her unable to recognise her own son.

The TV personality got candid over the weekend during an appearance on The Briefing podcast as he shared details about his mum Margaret’s health journey which began in 1996. Lee was just 15 at the time when he was told his mother was diagnosed with cerebral vasculitis and had just two weeks to live. 

“It shut down parts of her brain. She forgot how to walk, how to talk, who we were,” he told host Jamila Rizvi of his mother’s condition, which sees inflammation of the blood vessel wall inside the brain.

“So things turned really quickly, and it happened over the space of three weeks. A bit of a shock to the system. She was given two weeks to live back then because they didn’t really know what it was.” 

On the podcast, Lee revealed he had to reintroduce himself to his mother every day whenever he would visit.

“It felt a bit like groundhog day. ‘I’m Andy. I play the trumpet. I like hockey,'” he recalled. 

Despite being hospitalised for one year following her diagnosis, Margaret survived. 

“I may be wrong in this, but I think she’s the first to survive [this condition] in Australia,” Lee concluded. “I never really thought Mum was going to die, even though they told us that. I just didn’t believe it. But one thing — and this might be a nice thing to hear — it absolutely brought [younger sister Alex and I] closer.

“Like, we were always a close-knit family but we, and I said to my mum, the silver lining is that we are now… we see each other three or four times a week, we talk to each other every single day, we love catching up.”

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