Marjorie from Australia shares her amazing HSCT journey to Artemis Hospital, India
I was diagnosed with MS in 1992/3 after going through a great deal of stress and anxiety. I turned SPMS about 8 years ago in 2010 and found that I was starting to limp – not ferociously but subtly. I would get tired often and decided to give up working in the fast paced city and retire early. Wasn’t easy but I found it necessary as my symptoms became more noticeable as time went by. My research looked at Mexico and Russia but I was put off applying to these hospitals as there was up to a year waiting list. I couldn’t wait that long as I seemed to be deteriorating fast and, since I managed to get a confirmation with the Artemis Hospital, New Delhi, I started to partake in my research on this treatment.
Before travelling to the Artemis Hospital in India in July 2017, and after doing a great deal of research on this treatment, I came to the positive conclusion that India was the place to go. I noted that hsct specialist spent one year practicing at the RVI hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, which was my home town before immigrating to Sydney, Australia early 1991. All my enquiries on hsct specialist produced more than adequate reason to have him perform this transplant so in July 2017, and with my eldest son as my carer, I made all necessary arrangement to travel to New Delhi.
I was obviously quite nervous but my confidence was high and I convinced myself that I had made the right decision. I am now 1 year post transplant, and I now know that I did make the right decision.
Immediately on arriving in India, many tests were done on my whole body and, once the medical team were wholly satisfied with my strength and physicals, on 1 August 2017, I went through the actual HSCT procedure. The medical team visited me daily and insisted that they were there to help me and I wasn’t to unduly worry about this treatment. I didn’t, and I was placed on a special diet to maintain my strength. My son was given a uniform to wear to avoid any infections and I was monitored several times a day to check on my health.
I felt good and I had no worries about my decision to undergo this treatment. hsct specialist and his team of some 5/6 doctors visited me every day making sure that I was aware of what tests were to be done on each and every other day. I felt good that the staff really cared for me with compassion and caring. My confidence grew as each day passed and when it was my transplant day on 1 August last year, I underwent the transplant without any fear. The whole team actually and silently said a prayer as the HSCT was taking place. I am not a religious person but was quite pleased with the care that was provided.
Without a doubt, I am happy that I had the transplant and that I had it done by hsct specialist, Artemis Hospital, New Delhi. If anyone is thinking of doing HSCT, it is important that you do your research and are happy with your decision. I have no regrets, my EDSS was 6.5 before transplant and although it has only improved slightly, I am able to walk without any aid other than my stick, which I was not able to do before HSCT. I make sure I do exercise each and every day and I am overall happy with my recovery thus far. I have no doubt that I will get better and, as long as I believe in that, I am sure I truly will.
Marjorie from Australia