Caring for her husband
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John Atkinson's wife reveals the struggle of coping with dementia

The wife of former rugby league star has told the BBC there have been times she has thought about ending her life.

Carol Butterfield said the strain of coping with John Atkinson's dementia pushed her to the brink of despair.

Atkinson, who played for Leeds and Great Britain, developed Alzheimer's about five years ago and in that time has become entirely dependent on his wife.

Ms Butterfield has now decided to share their story in an effort to show what she describes as the "hopeless lives" many carers endure.

You can see the whole interview on the BBC iPlayer.

  • 16 Mar 2017