Aer Lingus pilot forced to retire due to rare EDS illness

Published in The Irish News, 5/24/2016

Aer Lingus pilot forced to retire due to rare EDS illness

A FORMER Aer Lingus pilot forced to retire due to a rare illness has said he hopes to see “greater knowledge and understanding amongst doctors” of the condition.

Richard Black (38), who is originally from Bangor, was forced to retire after a 16-year career as an airline pilot due to the EDS condition, which he said took seven years to be diagnosed.

According to an Irish support group which aims to raise awareness, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is an inherited connective tissue disorder that affects approximately one in 5,000 people.

May marks the annual awareness month for the condition, which is caused by a defect in the make up of collagen which helps skin stay together.

Mr Black said there is a lack of understanding about the disease.

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