A teacher has become one of the youngest people to die from dementia at the age of just 40 years old. Gareth Wilmot began showing signs of the horrific degenerative disease five years ago, but doctors initially diagnosed him with depression. When he deteriorated even further he went back for tests and was given the devastating news.

The popular “showman” passed away on Monday after a five year battle with frontotemporal dementia – a savage and rapidly-advancing form of the disease which usually affects patients between the ages of 45. Gareth’s heartbroken parents Lesley, 66 and Graham, 65, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire have been left devastated by his death.

Gareth was a teacher of children with behavioral problems and lived happily with a partner prior to his diagnosis. His parents moved him back into the family home when his state started to deteriorate. Graham, a retired mechanical fitter, said: “As the illness progressed, Gareth started to lose his speech and was unable to speak. He started to refuse food and drink. It is horrible to see an old person like that, never mind your own son.”