My name is Patrick Benson and I’m from the Uk, Sussex, Eastbourne, south coast.
I was diagnosed in 2006 with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. And, since the diagnosis, I suppose the first eight or nine years, my progression was slow. And then, in the last couple of years, my progression has speeded up and I’ve gone from…I ought to pack up work, I was roofing for a job. I’ve packed it up. Obviously, I found my balance was getting dodgy and I don’t want to be falling off of roots. So yeah, I packed it up. I finished the business up and now, obviously, I don’t do any work but I still do a few phone calls from home, you know, work wise. I went to see my neurologist at King’s College in London about…you know because I’d gone downhill quickly, so he then said: “right, we give you a scan, MRI scan, and if it’s…we find that, you know, there are more lesions, it has progressed that much, then we’ll get you some treatment sorted out”, and I said to him “well, what treatment is there, you know, for the MS?”. And he said, he said to me about stem cells, and I knew about stem cells, you know, obviously I’ve done a bit of research and so he’s got me going, got my brain going about the stem cells.
So, I had the scan and when it came back it turned out that it wasn’t bad enough and I didn’t fit the criteria to have the stem cell treatment in the UK. But, my brain is still whining about stem cell treatment, so I’ve looked on the Internet and I found Swiss Medica. And, having spoken to a couple of previous patients from Swiss Medica…and…their experiences and how much better they are…then I decided “right, you know, I’m going to go for it”. So, I paid for the treatment and I’ve come and had it and after the first lot of treatment. I did some interviews for UK television. The first interview obviously was a before, and they filmed me going up my stairs at home. Difficult, because I had to lift this leg and swing it out because my right leg has always been a lot worse. And then afterwards, then, I could lift my leg like I, you know, like I can lift my leg now. I couldn’t do that before.
And I couldn’t swing my foot up. So, obviously, things have gone a lot better. So, I decided to come back again and Swiss Medica offered me the treatment copious gratis for the work I was doing, for the publicity I was getting on British television. So, here I am back again and also when I return home the television company is coming again to interview me and to put another programme on the television. So, there’s more, you know, it gets more good public publicity for Swiss medica…can’t fault it, I can’t fault it. The service you get here, the food, everybody’s happy, always happy to see you, we’re smiling and never, you know, nothing is too much, nothing is too much trouble. Everybody is friendly, so yeah, what more?
Perfect. Do you want to talk about how you were before you came for your first treatment? So, like how much movement you gained in your right leg?
Well, it’s always because I’m left-handed, right footed, and cack-handed, the symptoms have always been worse with the pins and needles mobility in my left hand and my right leg. I’ve suffered from a foot drop, you know, on the stairs. But then when it started getting really bad, not only could I not move my foot up like that, but I couldn’t drive a car because I couldn’t get my foot from the accelerator to the brake. Okay now, although I drive an automatic anyway because I break with that foot so…
Do you want to show how much movement you have in your right leg?
Yeah, I can do that. When one of the doctors came to examine me, he lifted my leg up into that position and he said “hold it there”, so my left leg had no problem. And then he said “right, we do it with the right leg”. So, he lifted my leg up to this position and he said “Okay, hold it” and I held it whereas before I let it go and it dropped. So, there is definitely a difference. And when I…when I go upstairs, I can lift my foot rather than, you know, swing it out to get it up the stairs.
So, you find daily activities much easier now?
I’m getting better. Well, I still need…if I’m walking around in here I’m okay because I’ve got balance, I can bounce off, but if I’m out in the open and I need a bit of stability, then I take a stick but sometimes I find that the stick throws me off.
Okay so, pushed off in counterbalancing. You also had a previous back injury?
Well, yeah. That dates back to 1990, I suffered a prolapsed disc. And, I’ve always had back problems since then, yeah, but when I was younger and I was working, I was always working outside on the building using my back, the muscle grew very strong around the damaged area. And, my physiotherapists in the UK said that It’s your body’s way of repairing around the damaged area, so it was holding…holding my back together with the muscles really. Although it was still a bit painful, now with DMS I’m not doing anything, I can’t do anything. My back pain is really bad. Wherever I was lying, sitting I couldn’t get comfortable without the pain. Going from sitting to standing, yeah, It was painful. But, even the physio here, he is… the stem cells injected into my back. So, hopefully if they do the trick, they won’t cure it because you know, there’s no disc there, but they will soften the pain. Yeah, and some of the infusions I’ve been having and banking remedies, so he’s been giving me magnetic treatment, about electronic pulses and it all seems to be doing the trick.
So, how have you found the service of Swiss Medica?
How did I find the service? Brilliant. I would recommend it to anybody, anybody thinking, anybody thinking of, you know, coming…I know the situation people are in with MS and they think “I’m never gonna get better, there’s nothing they can do for me”. Well, I know it won’t work for everybody, the treatment, because obviously MS is different in every case. But, the treatment won’t work for everybody, there’s no 100% guarantee. But, if you’ve got the money to pay for the first treatment, I would say go for it. Because if you don’t, you’ll always think, you know, you’ll be gradually going downhill really quickly, like I was, and I’ve stopped now, I’ve hit the plateau and I’m not getting any worse at the moment. So, I would say, you know, if you can go for it, because if you don’t you’ll always say “God, I wonder what would have happened if I…If I had it done”.
So, would you recommend Swiss Medica?
I definitely would. Yeah, from the UK it’s a short, direct flight from Heathrow. Yeah, they get wheelchair assistance, they pick you up in an ambulance, they drive you here, and once you’re here, you’re in their care and you don’t have to have a care in the world. They look after you, they feed you, there’s a great menu here for food. It’s like a hotel rather than a hospital.
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Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor