Monday March 19th 2018

Liberation has helped yet another MS sufferer

Miraculous is how Bev Downie sees the change in her daughter after receiving angioplasty, also known as liberation therapy, for multiple sclerosis in California recently.

It was a journey of hope and Bev was brimming with emotion as she described, to the News on Tuesday, the changes that have taken place in her daughter Andrea Downie who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986 at the age of 25.

“The doctors said not to expect anything for a month,” said Bev. “But she slept better immediately. Her tongue doesn’t seem to be as thick anymore making her speech clearer and its been three weeks since the treatment.

When the News first interviewed Bev Downie and had an opportunity to speak with Andrea she was not able to converse at all.

She now responds with short phrases and on her good days even initiates conversation. Previously she did not respond when asked how she was feeling but now says she’s feeling “really good” or “great”.

Andrea does not remember much about the trip or the procedure, which is generally called “liberation therapy,” after Dr. Paulo Zamboni, an Italian physician who announced a few years ago he’d made a connection between restricted blood flow to the brain and multiple sclerosis patients – chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI). This procedure is currently not available in Canada, or sanctioned by Health Canada.

Andrea’s dexterity has improved since the procedure and she is able to co-ordinate her thumb and finger to pick up items such as chocolate raisins, said Bev.

Nurses at Sunnyside Care Home have reported that she can now take her own weight on her legs for short periods.

“She has life in her eyes and even the colour of her eyes is back,” said Bev. “She was able to read the words on an Easter card.”

The muscles spasms she found very uncomfortable around her midriff and legs are diminishing and are less severe. Andrea moves her head more freely and with more range, said Bev.

There has not been any change to her medications yet as staff evaluate her progress first.

Bev says she wouldn’t hesitate to arrange for the procedure again if it was ever needed.

“They, (Costa Mesa California Synergy Health Concepts) don’t only look at the veins but also the valves. If the valves aren’t opening the blood does not drain from the head,” said Bev.

According to Inner Body – Your guide to inner anatomy online, “arteries utilize vessel size to move blood by pressure, veins use one-way valves controlled by muscle contractions.”

Bev is extremely grateful to everyone in the community who helped financially and in many ways to make this trip and procedure for Andrea possible.

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