Meet the dad who cannot feel fear

Jordy Cernik. 42, has lost the ability to feel scared or excited following a series of health issues and operations to treat a rare condition.
Jordy Cernik. 42, has lost the ability to feel scared or excited following a series of health issues and operations to treat a rare condition.

Meet the South Tyneside dad who feels no fear.

Jordy Cernik, 42, has lost the ability to feel scared or excited following a series of health issues and operations to treat a rare condition.

Jordy Cernik taking on a skydive.

Jordy Cernik taking on a skydive.

The Jarrow dad was diagnosed with Cushing’s syndrome back in 2005 and, after undergoing various operations, realised he was no longer experiencing the emotion.

The condition is a collection of symptoms caused by very high levels of a hormone called cortisol in the body.

Since then the self-employed radio producer has taken on various challenges, including jumping out of a plane at 17,000ft, abseiling down a 418ft tower and completing a zip-wire across the Tyne.

But he felt nothing each time.

Jordy Cernik climbing one of the tall ships.

Jordy Cernik climbing one of the tall ships.

Mr Cernik, who is married to wife Tracy, 46, and has daughters Evie, eight and Aimee, 10, said: “The first time I realised was when I was on the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland and didn’t feel sacred at all, it was just boring.
“I took I as a bit of a joke, but mentioned it to my doctor who didn’t say anything.
“I then said I would do a sky dive for Cash for Kids and didn’t feel anything then either.

“Then the BBC got in touch with me and said they would like to test this, so I ended up doing an abseil at 418ft while a specialist in neurology and fear responses monitored me.
“I did it twice and both times I felt nothing - the machine showed my response had just flatlined.”

The dad-of-two first noticed the signs something was wrong after gaining a lot of weight and suffering from constant sweating.
After seeing numerous doctors he was eventually diagnosed with the condition.

Over the next decade, Mr Cernik underwent four brain operations to remove the pituitary gland and procedures to remove his adrenal glands.

Jordy Cernik taking on a skydive.

Jordy Cernik taking on a skydive.

But he suffered a number of complications along the way, developing pneumonia and meningitis and ending up on a life support machine.

Then he went through surgery to remove fat from his chest and surgery to rebuild the inside of his nose that had decayed from the operations.

It was then, after making a recovery, that Mr Cernik realised he has lost his sense of fear.

After taking on the initial challenges, he also pushed himself to the limit, taking various rollercoasters with 200ft drops and the Great North Run - but again wasn’t affected.

Jordy Cernik taking on a skydive.

Jordy Cernik taking on a skydive.

Although he says his brain does recognise dangerous situations.

Despite its perks, Mr Cernik said having no fear comes at a price.
He said: “In one way it great that I have no fear, but in another way I don’t enjoy things like family holidays in the same way, as I don’t get excited about it.

“And I don’t get excited about seeing my daughter on stage, it’s really sad.”

Now Mr Cernik said he plans to put other situations to the ‘fear test’.

He added: “I also want to see about other fears like singing at the South Shields music festival or with Take That when they are at the arena.

“I’m also looking into doing some more charity stunts.”

Jordy Cernik taking on an abseil.

Jordy Cernik taking on an abseil.