Published by: New Zealand Herald 



Herald video journalist Mike Scott is not used to having the lens zoom in on his personal and painful story.

As a little boy, he and his siblings, Chris and Angus, feared their father, who was violent and an alcoholic.

“I knew dad was struggling and he wished he could stop. I remember once he got us out of bed. He was drunk and asked us ‘what do I need to do to stop’? Mike said.

Bob Scott was 70 years old when he was diagnosed with dementia. He became forgetful, paranoid, and confused.

Worried that he might also be predisposed to dementia Mike, 48, decided to be filmed having an MRI scan as a healthy volunteer (watch the video to see the results).

“Before the test, there was a little bit of apprehension.

“Once you actually get into the machine and you know your brain is being scanned, you get a bit nervous.

“On the one hand it could be pretty negative, on the other hand I could find something that’s going to help me plan for the future.”

Mike’s partner, Marita Lavery, describes him as “loyal and intelligent” and a fabulous father to their two daughters, Ruby 12, and Aria 10.

“He’s Mike the adventurer, Mike the active fun guy to hang out with.”

She feels proud that her “deeply private” partner has revealed so much of himself.

“He’s so committed to everything he does. He’s committed to the children, me, his family and the projects he gets involved in. Revealing himself at this level is not natural to him, revealing the private backstory in the family is not something he would have considered lightly.

“He has always been socially driven, so I am proud of him. If we can get a real shift in the support and investment around dementia out of this, that would be another feather in his cap.