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The truth about the miracle cure that promises to treat everything

Date (2017-04-26)

Stem Cells Treatment for Multiple SclerosisZoe Derrick was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after the birth of her second son, Freddie, in January 2012.

'At first, I thought breastfeeding was the reason I was so, so tired all the time,' she says. 'It was so bad that Paul, my husband, was having to help me up the stairs.

'I kept tripping on the pavement when I was pushing the pram, then I trapped my hand in the car door. It was very bruised and swollen, but I couldn't feel a thing. I should have been in agony.'

An MRI scan that night revealed patches of damage all over her brain. Zoe, with her medical training as an NHS midwife, knew what it meant.

'I wondered how I could be alive, let alone speak.'

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition in which the immune system destroys the vital protective sheaths around nerves, causing damage that can have a devastating and paralysing effect on functions including movement, sight and speech.

Over the next two years, Zoe failed to respond to three drugs she was prescribed and became 'weaker and weaker'; she had lost her peripheral vision and soon couldn't walk.

'If I wanted to go anywhere, I had to use a mobility scooter,' she says. 'I cut down work to alternate days but even then I was off sick a lot, I was just exhausted.

'I couldn't cook a meal, bathe my baby or do anything. My balance and speech were affected. I felt and looked drunk all the time.'

Zoe was given another drug, 'but the side-effects were unbearable: the most excruciating burning sensation throughout my body. I was only 36 but I felt that my life was ending.'

She desperately looked for other options and last year came across stem cell treatment. Stem cells are capable of turning into all kinds of other cells the body needs.

The treatment for MS involves completely destroying the malfunctioning immune system using chemotherapy, then healthy stem cells, harvested from the patient's bone marrow, are returned to the body to re-grow a healthy immune system.

Cancer specialists have already successfully treated blood cancers using stem cells from bone marrow and, in 2012, specialists at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield and King's College Hospital in London, began testing the technique on a handful of MS patients with good results.

'Stem cell treatment looked like the only option,' says Zoe, 'but I was turned down for the trial because they said my MS wasn't actively advancing.'

Zoe decided to go abroad for the treatment. Her NHS consultant 'pleaded with me not to, saying it would be a highway to death because it was untested and unregulated, and treatment would be available here in five years. I said I didn't have five years'.

As a young mother, Zoe should surely have been given access to the best available healthcare. Instead, she had to spend £38,000 to go to Mexico for the treatment and now faces selling her home to repay the loan.



Source : dailymail