Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Stem cell cure bid for MS man
ANIMAL sanctuary owner John Warwick will undergo pioneering stem cell treatment today in a bid to find a cure for his multiple sclerosis.
Mr Warwick, 49, who runs the Swindon and District Animal Haven in Wootton Bassett, has been an MS sufferer for more than 26 years.
He was offered a place on a new pilot study at Bristol's Frenchay Hospital earlier this year and will start treatment tomorrow.
The hospital's MS pecialists will drill into his bone marrow, extract the stem cells, which act as a repair system for the body, and re-inject them into his veins.
Mr Warwick said he hoped the treatment would benefit him, as well as others who have suffered from MS.
"Anything that could stop this, or lead to a cure is an honour for me to be a part of," said Mr Warwick.
"MS is a debilitating disease. It's a horrible thing that just eats you up.
"On a good day you're tired and it just hurts, but on a bad day you literally can't move.
"There's a lot of pain involved with it. You're constantly tired and everything is a drain."
Mr Warwick discovered he had MS after suffering what he and his wife Deana thought was a stroke, while living in Holland at the age of 23.
He has since been on the lookout for treatments that could help beat the disease.
He believes the five-person trial, being run by Professor Neil Scolding, represents the best chance yet for him.
"At the end of the day, I believe that stem cell technology is the magic cure of the future," said the father-of-seven.
"Now we have learnt to understand the technology, it's just a matter of time before we can use it against these sorts of horrible diseases.
"I feel absolutely proud as punch to be involved in it.
"I have been fighting MS for 26 years and I have always known there is a way round it somewhere.
"We will see what happens by Saturday.
"If it works, there should be a reasonably quick response and I should notice a bit of a difference within a couple of days.
"I'm hoping for a gradual improvement as the cells grow and develop and my nervous system gets better."
Mr Warwick underwent some final tests at the hospital on Tuesday, before being admitted on Wednesday.
He is due to be released on Saturday, after the operation.
"I was a little bit apprehensive, but it can't do me any harm," he said.
"I'm quite relaxed about it all."