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Ground-Breaking Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis Has Man Running Again

May 1, 2017

A New Zealand resident, Hamist Bockett-Smith, 42, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), received ground-breaking treatment that allowed him to run again. He could barely walk 100 meters and was close to being put in a wheelchair. It began with his losing feeling in his right arm and hand in 2001. Six months later, he was diagnosed with MS. He suffered other conditions such as temporary blindness and agonizing pain in his feet. He discusses how deliberating his fatigue was. He also never regained feeling in his arm. With funded treatments no longer working, he and his family decided the best option was to spend $160,000 on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) at Raffle Hospital in Singapore.

In May 2015, Bockett-Smith flew out for the treatment since it is not available to MS suffers in New Zealand. The first day of this treatment included chemotherapy, then for five days he injected himself with a drug to make his body over-produce bone marrow stem cells. He was then hooked up to a machine for eight hours and had 40 million stem cells harvested. In the last phase, he was put in isolation and given five days of chemotherapy to “annihilate” his immune system to kill the body’s memory of the disease before the stem cells were pumped back in. According to Bockett-Smith, the cost and suffering was worth it. His conditions improved over time and he recently did a 10km run.

Bockett-Smith claims that the treatment has not fully restored the feeling in his right arm and he still has some issues with fatigue, but it is nowhere near as bad as it had been. Also, the treatment only last for five to ten years, which Bocket-Smith states it was still worth it. He recommends the treatment to others, but suggests that people need to do the research and weigh up the risks for themselves.