MS Sufferers Stories: Patients from the UK after Stem Cell Treatment

Carla and Shaun from UK Patient

Shaun: Hi, my name is Shaun Lawrence and today I’ve come to my friend Carla’s house and together we would like to talk to you about our experiences, having stem cell treatment with Swiss Medica, to help us with our multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

Carla: My name is Carla Wallace-Clark. Like Shaun, I’m a MS sufferer. If you might hear Oscar in the background, our new puppy, which we’ve had since January, after my stem cell therapy treatment. Back in December, we couldn’t even entertain the fact of having a puppy and now we’re enjoying him.

Shaun: When I found myself looking for a clinic that could offer me this treatment with the stem cells, I soon found that there was absolutely nowhere in the UK, there was nothing that would help me. So I found myself looking abroad. There are many countries offering stem cells, with varying prices and slightly different procedures. The one that I opted for was Swiss Medica. I’ve always thought of Switzerland as being very much ahead of the times with medical practices and I felt very comfortable and decided that that was going to be for me.

Carla: Well I was diagnosed back in 2015. Diagnosed in the April and very quickly I went downhill. I was diagnosed with Relapse-Remitting MS. Diagnosed in the April, by the August I was bedridden. By the time we returned from our holiday, I was literally confined to my bed. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t take my children to school, I couldn’t do any of the extracurricular activities with them, I couldn’t cook for them, I couldn’t look after them, I couldn’t do any house work. I couldn’t do anything. I was good for nothing. The MS nurses and my neurologist said that I wasn’t ill enough to be prescribed disease-modifying drugs and I just had to look after myself. We found this very hard to live with, because MS has marred every aspect of my life. From my underwear, from the clothes that I wear, from the shoes that I had to wear, from the activities that I did, to the food that I ate, it marred absolutely every aspect of my life. So, it was causing a lot of distress. In the April a documentary came on the TV about stem cell therapy and it was the only thing that gave us spark, that gave it light at the end of the tunnel and I thought we can do this. Through family members we got to hear about Shaun and Shaun’s experience and after seeing that documentary, we set up a meeting for me to meet Shaun. And from then on it was almost plain sailing, without the nervousness and going into the unknown. But it was always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Shaun: So having decided to go with Swiss Medica I then was advised by the consultants to go to their Moscow clinic, who are specialists in neurological diseases.

Carla: So once we met Shaun and learned of his experiences we realized that stem cell therapy was the only way forward for us.

Shaun: So Carla, who would have believed to only 12 months ago, we would have been sitting here today and talking about the things that we have. Isn’t it just amazing?

Carla: Shaun, it incredible! I’ll be forever indebted to you, actually, because if it wasn’t for your encouragement, I don’t know where we’d be. I really don’t know where we’d be. It’s just been amazing, a dream come true. A real dream come true.

Shaun: I think it’s important for each of us to support each other and for other people that have got similar diseases, I think it’s important to have that support, isn’t it?

Carla: Oh, absolutely. And also to talk as well. It’s important to talk. Sometimes talking is a therapy in itself, but it also reminds you of what was, what has been and what can be. And I am so excited.

Shaun: And also, that you’re not alone in how you feel. I think sometimes you think that it’s only ever happening to you, but actually, it is relevant to a lot of people.

Carla: It really is and you know, I used to think that it is in my head and so then I’d try and do things and then that would have fallen over. Because it wasn’t in my head, this was actually really happening. You know, incident is tripping over a piece of string, you know, not making it to the loo in time, not being able to get out of bed and just getting up and collapsing on the floor. Just all these silly things that happen and it’s not just you, the amount of people that are suffering and suffering unnecessarily, because there is something out there.

Shaun: There is.

Carla: You know, there is. And I still don’t understand why they didn’t think that I could have disease-modifying drugs, but you know, they did me a favor, because this is so much better. I don’t know how long it will last for, we don’t know, but at the moment it is fantastic, I’m enjoying every day.

Shaun: I think, as you will probably agree with me, to have a positive attitude is the way forward. When you have an off day, you have to rise above it and you have to look to tomorrow and say “Tomorrow, I’m gonna make this better.”

Carla: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Shaun: And you’re the same. I’m sure we’re both very positive people and that’s why we’re here Carla.

Carla: Or just plain stubborn.

Shaun: So Carla, how are things with you now?

Carla: Absolutely brilliant. Absolutely brilliant! I can do things that back in December I couldn’t imagine. I mean, we’re talking 2 months ago! I couldn’t imagine. I’m walking Toby to school, we’ve got the new puppy, so I’m doing circuits in the garden. I have seen more of my garden in this past month than I had in 2 years! I’ve seen bits that I’ve just not been able to get to, because I couldn’t make it. I’ve been able to walk up and down the drive. It’s been incredible. We couldn’t have entertained a puppy back in December and now I’m looking after a puppy, which is like looking after a newborn child. I’m swimming twice a week on top of that, up to 22 lengths twice a week. December I was at 0, so that is fantastic, to me that’s my achievement. In the next month I’m planning to include yoga on top of that and also I’m gonna be doing a walk for charity 10.000 steps a day for cancer research. So that’s me doing that, that’s me being stubborn and not letting this MS get to me. I’m also looking forward to doing family walks at Bickerton Hill and pub lunches again, because it’s not a problem, whether I’d make it around or whether I’d need a toilette stop halfway up the hill. You know, it’s just incredible. And then we’ve booked a family holiday, because we can, we didn’t go on one last year, because I just wasn’t any good, but this year we’re going sailing. So the last time we went sailing, I was below deck because I was wiped out, MS has knocked me for six. This time I’m gonna be sailing that boat. I’m so excited! Life is exciting. Every day is a new day and I am just so appreciative. Shaun, thank you again for giving me that kick up the backside to book that ticket and go.

Shaun: You’ve done it yourself.

Carla: Thank you. What have you got planned for this year?

Shaun: I’m hoping to go on holiday and just enjoy life. Just enjoy life. What about you?

Carla: Well, as I’ve said, we’ve got the new puppy, so daily walks. I’ve started swimming, next month I plan to do yoga.

Shaun: Yoga?! Wow!

Carla: Yes! I’m gonna do a charity walk, 10.000 steps a day for cancer research, I’m planning on doing that.

Shaun: Well done.

Carla: I’m looking forward to going on a family walk up the Bickerton Hill, which is close by. We’ve booked a family holiday, we’re going sailing.

Shaun: Wow!

Carla: Because the last time we went sailing I was below deck, because I was just whipped out, but this time I’m gonna be sailing that boat.

Shaun: You’re gonna be operating that boat!

Carla: Yes! So I’m really excited, I’m enjoying each day. And yes, you do get off days, you do get off days. But take it on the chin and think “Tomorrow, I’m gonna be back up there again.”

Shaun: I’m gonna make a difference.

Carla: Yeah, back up there again. It’s exciting, I just feel excited about life.

Shaun: And I am too.

Carla: Good, brilliant. Thank you, Shaun.

Shaun: Thank you.

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MS Sufferers Stories: Patients from the UK after Stem Cell Treatment
Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina, MD

Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor

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