BYE, BYE WHEELCHAIR: MS sufferer Martin Jones has seen a huge improvement in his condition since a ground-breaking operation on his neck Photo no: RSMAK150210-G02 by Alec Kingham
Multiple sclerosis is a devastating disease which, until recently, had no possible cure. Martin Jones suffered with MS for 13 years. But following a groundbreaking operation on his throat, Martin is now enjoying using parts of his body he thought he had lost forever. Reporter HOLLY THOMPSON talks to him about his remarkable recovery.
This time last year, Martin Jones could hardly leave the sofa.
His body would spasm involuntarily, he couldn't walk, he couldn't sleep because his arms and legs twitched at random, and he would regularly choke on his food.
"I was very close to being put in a nursing home and then probably dying," said Mr Jones.
"I had lost my life. As far as I was concerned it was over. I couldn't do anything – just lie there on the sofa endlessly trying to sleep. I was basically paralysed."
Now he can happily open the door to visitors, drive his car, and get up the stairs in one go.
He is almost completely cured of a disease which doctors claim is incurable. And all it took was two operations on his throat under local anaesthetic.
Mr Jones, 43, said: "I feel born again.
"Life was pretty much over for me but now I'm trying to find time to fit in everything I want to do."
The retired IT analyst was diagnosed with MS 13 years ago.
He said: "I suddenly started to lose my balance and began accidentally treading on people's feet in the tube.
"I went to the doctors for a scan, and it took them two years to diagnose MS.
"They told me it was progressive and therefore incurable. It was a crushing blow but I tried not to let it get me down."
Over the next few years Mr Jones's body began to deteriorate. He was forced to retire and spent his time lying on the sofa desperately scouring the internet for a cure. And last year, he struck gold.
Mr Jones, of Sycamore Drive, Woodhatch, said: "I read about this syndrome called Chronic Cerebro-Spinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) and how it can be cured with a simple operation. I was on the phone immediately to book myself in.
"I had to travel to Poland to get it done but it was worth it. The moment it was over the first thing I realised was that I could feel my feet. I hadn't felt them for years. It was amazing."
Mr Jones had his first operation in November last year, and the second in January. He now wants to use his newly-restored health to help others suffering from MS.
He said: "The experience has made me evangelical. I want everyone to know about CCSVI and what it means.
"Scientists in this country are dismissing the treatment and calling it a placebo, but I'm proof that it works and that there is hope for MS sufferers all over the world."
Mr Jones and other MS sufferers are lobbying the Government to take this treatment seriously and perform it in the UK. To sign their petition, go to www.ms-ccdvi-uk.org