Eric Thomson, 50, who was diagnosed with the illness five years ago, was left unable to walk or use his right hand. His family raised £38,650 to fund hematopoietic stem cell transplantation treatment, which is unavailable on the NHS .
Eric and his wife Joanna, 49, travelled to the Riaz clinic in Tijuana where he first had chemotherapy before stem cells were transfused into his bloodstream to replace destroyed tissue. And now, just a week after returning home, Eric can walk again.
The dad-of-five, from Hartlepool, Co Durham, said: “I wasn’t expecting this level of success. To get that result so quickly has been amazing.”
“If it just stopped the progression that would have been enough. People really need to know about this treatment as there is nothing in this country for it at all. The downside is the cost, but you can’t put a price on a life. I am proof it works.”
The couple now plan to raise money for other MS sufferers to have the treatment abroad.
“The downside is the cost, but you can’t put a price on a life. I am living proof it works. I am absolutely delighted with the results and now say that I used to have MS.”
Over the coming weeks Eric plans to undergo physiotherapy, followed by gym sessions as he attempts to rebuild his strength.
He said: “I am taking it one day at a time, but it is great to know I am getting my independence back. I would say to other people that the earlier you go, the better effect the treatment has.
“I was diagnosed in 2011 and believe that if I had gone for the treatment straight away I would never have had to stop working.”
Eric travelled to the clinic on June 19 with wife Joanne where he underwent a number of tests to ensure he was fit enough for the operation.
He had to endure bouts of chemotherapy before he finally had the stem cell transplant. Just under a month later on July 17, Eric flew back to the UK.
Eric said: “At the end of the treatment I had to have a Rituximab Infusion which acts as a booster for the stem cells. I am due to have another five of these infusions which will act as maintenance for the transplant and I am hoping the NHS will fund it, otherwise we have to raise another £5,000.”
Wife Joanne added: “It is only the beginning of a long journey, but we are delighted with the results so far and can’t thank everyone enough for helping to raise the funds to send Eric for the treatment.
“We will always be indebted to them. They have given him his life back.”
Eric and Joanne plan to now fund raise to help other MS suffers pay to go and have the stem cell treatment abroad.