For most people, the misery of a cough lasts only a few days. Not so for Ann Mayer.
The 76-year-old started coughing 35 years ago – and has not stopped since.
And to make matters worse, Mrs Mayer is a singer in a cathedral choir.
Doctors have not been able to diagnose her or find a cure since her cough started as a 'tickle and a splutter' all those years ago.
But now Mrs Mayer, a grandmother of four from Llanbedr, North Wales, is taking part in medical trials to test a new drug, which it is hoped will cure her chronic cough, also thought to be suffered by thousands of others.
Ann Mayer, 76, (pictured) started coughing when she was 40 years old and hasn't stopped
Mrs Mayer, a soprano in St Asaph Choral Society, said: 'I started coughing when I was 40 years old, completely out of the blue.
'One minute I was fine, the next I had a tickle and a splutter... I thought it must be a bit of dust, or maybe the start of a cold. But it never went away.'
She added: 'When I first started coughing, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.'
Despite trying 'virtually every remedy', from honey and lemon to antibiotics, nothing has ever shaken the cough.
Mrs Mayer said: 'I've had cameras up my nose and down my throat, come back all clear on allergy testing and doctors have drawn a complete blank.
'I'm now hoping that I won't