A YOUNG man left severely disabled after his meningitis was not spotted by doctors could be forced to leave his family home.

Matthew Luke — whose quality of life has slowly eroded since being struck down at the age of five — is fighting to be able to continue living with his devoted mum and dad in the only home he has ever known.

The 23-year-old Port Glasgow lad needs help to stay there, with a large sum of money needed for major alterations and adaptations to the house on the town's Arran Avenue or he and his family will face a heartbreaking split.

An online crowdfunding appeal launched just a few days ago with a 12-month target of £25,000 has already raised more than £3,500.

Matthew's grateful mum Sadie, 57, wept as news of the running total was broken to her as she spoke to the Telegraph about her beloved son's plight, which now sees him confined to a wheelchair and unable to talk.

Sadie said: "We've just been overwhelmed by the response.

"A pound is making our hearts humble."

The family says Matthew was misdiagnosed three times with an ear infection as a young boy.

He was only discovered to have meningitis after being rushed to hospital when his condition rapidly worsened.

His life was saved during a four-month period in Yorkhill Hospital but he required to have a shunt surgically inserted into his head which left him having to learn how to eat and walk again.

Matthew's determination and zest for life saw him raise money for good causes through activity events such as paintballing and swimming but his complex health needs have agonisingly overwhelmed him.

His cousin, Diane Lawrie, pictured with Matthew, said: "It's just been in the last two or three years that there's been a big change — he used to be able to play his X-box and go on his iPad.

"My fear is of what the effect will be on Matthew if he has to move out of his home environment.

"We can't fault a single person - the council and everybody is trying their very very best for him.

"But he needs to stay in his own house."

Mum Sadie and dad Matt, 67, want to be able to build a small extension to their home which would afford Matthew a wet room and a bedroom at ground level.

Sadie said: "Where we are there's eight stairs going up into our front door.

"My husband and me at the moment are having to bump Matthew up and down the stairs, and he nearly went flying last week when my husband's foot slipped and the chair went to one side."

Sadie and husband Matt have only taken up the offer of respite care for their son at the Fitzgerald Centre in Greenock in the last two years as they previously coped on their own without seeking any help.

Diane said: "They've not asked for one bit of help since Matthew was five and all this started."

Sadie said: "I've got my name down with Inverclyde Common Housing Register for an adapted house, but it would just be Matthew and me who would be moving out and that would separate us from my husband.

"You work all your days to buy a house and now our house isn't suitable for Matthew and doesn't lend itself easily to getting things done."

Matthew previously had to have a foot and his hip surgically broken because of the way he walked, then later developed dystonia — a neurological movement disorder syndrome — which required deep brain stimulation from electrodes.

More recently it has been discovered that he may also now have developed multiple sclerosis and is currently awaiting an appointment with a specialist in that field of medical care.

Remarkably, he remains upbeat and has a keen sense of humour, responding to banter among his relatives as he remains aware of everything and everyone around him.

Cousin Diane said: "He understands everything that you're saying."

As well as donations of money to his JustGiving page, Port Glasgow Juniors are also raising funds for Matthew and the Wet Wall Works company in Greenock has pledged to supply and install a wet wall for him free of charge.

Mum Sadie said: "It feels embarrassing to ask for help but I am so grateful.

"The response has been so amazing."

If you can help Matthew continue to live at home with his mum and dad, log on to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mathew-luke