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'Already I can feel that the fog is lifting': BBC war reporter hails pioneering stem-cell treatment for her MS that she was denied by the NHS

Date (2017-02-27)

  • Caroline Wyatt, 49, suffered from MS for decades before her diagnosis in 2015
  • The journalist flew to Mexico for stem cell treatment after being denied a place on an NHS trial
  • The treatment cost £61,000 which she funded in part through crowdsourcing
  • Miss Wyatt says the results have given her a 'second chance of life'

BBC war reporter Caroline Wyatt has described how her life has changed for the better after having stem-cell treatment for her multiple sclerosis.


The journalist, 49, flew to Mexico for groundbreaking therapy for her crippling neurological condition.

And she spent £61,000 on her treatment and drugs after being taken off the list at the last minute for an NHS trial in the UK in January.

Miss Wyatt has suffered from multiple sclerosis for decades but was only diagnosed in 2015

She was able to raise the money through crowdsourcing and her family and friends.

Following her treatment Miss Wyatt told The Times newspaper: 'Already I feel that the fog within my brain is lifting.

'I am less stiff when I wake up in the morning. My eyes hurt less.

'I am relishing this second chance of life.'

 MS, which affects the brain and the spinal cord, makes it hard for victims to balance, gives them double vision and even affects their ability to swallow and to think.


Miss Wyatt – who spent seven years as the BBC’s defence correspondent, risking her life as she reported from war zones – suffered from the condition for decades but was misdiagnosed until 2015. 

By that point, she was BBC religious affairs correspondent, but she was forced to give the post up last summer when her symptoms became too severe. 

Her vision was blurred in one eye and she had such difficulty walking, she sometimes fell over and found it impossible to travel.


The only glimmer of hope was the possibility that she could benefit from a ‘haematopoietic stem cell transplantation’ (HSCT). 

The treatment was trialled in Chicago in the mid-1990s, and is now offered in London, Sheffield, Russia and Mexico. Doctors say it is the biggest breakthrough in the treatment of MS for years, helping around three quarters of those who try it. 

HSCT treatment involves several rounds of chemotherapy to kill off harmful cells before replacing them with cells harvested from a patient's bone marrow.

Miss Wyatt travelled to a private hospital in Puebla, two hours south of Mexico City, and started treatment in January.

The treatment cost her £55,000 plus a further £6,000 for a specialist drug. 

The process robbed Miss Wyatt of her hair, and left her feeling exhausted, nauseous, and as ‘vulnerable as a newborn’. 

But she returned to London at the end of January and says the results so far have given her a new lease of life.

She is still employed by the BBC and has begun work on two radio documentaries, one of which explores the process of cell transplants.



Source : dailymail