Banned Treatment Helped Me Walk 23 February 2006
By Justine Marklew
WALKING his dog in the park, Malcolm Pear doesn't stand out from the crowd. In fact, he looks the picture of ordinariness.
His steady, purposeful stride gives little hint that he is, virtually, a walking miracle.
For the past decade, Malcolm has spent most of his time in a wheelchair, left paralysed by the crippling degenerative disease multiple sclerosis (MS).
But he is able to walk unaided again thanks to controversial stem-cell treatment.
The procedure is banned in the UK because because many believe research into its effects is at too early a stage.
But for Malcolm, 52, it has been a lifeline that has given him back the use of his legs.
Beforehand he was totally reliant on his devoted wife, Lesley, 61.
Everyday tasks, such as getting dressed or making a cup of tea, had become impossible for the former champion squash player.
But within hours of undergoing the pioneering treatment, Malcolm was able to walk once again.
"I am overwhelmed," says Malcolm, speaking just four weeks after the treatment.
"Within hours of the treatment, I suddenly felt full of I energy, I was buzzing with anticipation and my mind felt razor sharp.
"I just knew I could get out of my wheelchair and walk. To Lesley's amazement - and my own - I got out of my chair without a struggle and walked along the hotel lobby, down the stairs and back up again without even the aid of a walking stick. I felt on top of the world."
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