Steve Hurrell, a former owner of Hurrell Builders, was diagnosed with Korsakoff Syndrome, a form of dementia brought on by alcohol-related brain damage, three years ago.
“He’s not the person he used to be,” said wife of 13 years Carol-Anne Hurrell. “He lives on a different planet in his own little parallel universe but he is always smiling and he’s happy and most importantly he’s safe.
“He knows that I’m a good person but I don’t think that he knows I’m his wife any more. He’s always smiling and the people at Scarborough Hall think he’s lovely.”
Now a resident at Scarborough Hall, Steve has been granted a wish. As a lifelong Crystal Palace fan, he is heading to London to see his team play Liverpool and has also been given a season pass after carers got in touch with the club.
Carol-Anne said: “We’re going down to London on Saturday with a carer and another family member, who is actually a Liverpool fan, hopefully it will bring back some memories.”
Steve, 60, hasn’t spoken since last May where he sung all the words to Whiskey in a Jar and Molly Malone with an Irish band on a trip to Dublin.
As a nurse, Carol-Anne wants to raise awareness about dementia and its causes.
Steve, former chariman of Scarborough’s Round Table 1188, refereed local football matches and has played the sport from a young age.
Nationally it has now been linked to dementia and other brain conditions such as Parkinson’s.
But Steve’s form of dementia is linked to alcohol.
“When you’re young you think you’re invincible, you don’t think what kind of impact drinking alcohol can have on the brain,” said Carol-Anne.
“There’s not a lot of compassion for people with dementia especially in the early stages.
“I want to raise awareness of dementia, that it is possible to live well with dementia if society can be compassionate and not fearful. The Alzheimer’s Society is doing a lot to show this.
“When he was first diagnosed he travelled round the coast of England in a campervan and then the following year he went around Europe.”