Photo: Rocky Tompkins rolls his fingers for the first time in over a decade, something he can now do because of surgery he underwent in Mexico./Kimberley Molina
It’s been just over two weeks since Rocky Tompkins returned from undergoing surgery in Mexico, but he says the improvements he has experienced have been remarkable.
Tompkins travelled to Mexico to undergo what has been termed the “Liberation Treatment” to treat chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency something found is many people who have multiple sclerosis.
MS is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks myelin sheaths in the brain causing debilitation over time.
He says he is now able to straighten his fingers on both hands, something he has not been able to do in ten years.
Since his return July 14, he has had gradual improvements and has noticed differences in areas in which he had not even realized he had been missing, including in his taste.
However, one of the biggest changes he says he has felt since having the procedure done is an overall lack of crippling fatigue.
He says his body no longer shuts down at various times during the day which means he is also able to get a full night’s sleep instead of simply sleeping at different times during the day.
Furthermore he says he is able to better tolerate heat, has better balance and has had almost no headaches, which he used to get fairly frequently.
He says that he would recommend the procedure to everyone who has MS and may have been considering the treatment.
Hearing about the procedure gave him hope, something both he and his mother, Janet Ferguson, say he had been missing for a long time.
Ferguson says the doctors told him that they had never encountered an MS patient that didn’t have the narrowing veins.
He was 26 years old when he was diagnosed with chronic progressive MS, but that he says he had probably had symptoms for at least five years before that.
He first learned about the CCSVI procedure on an episode of W5 last fall and after doing research into the treatment and where it could be done, there was no turning back.
One of the biggest pushes for him was seeing someone who had gone through the same procedure a month before. He says before the procedure the man could only walk slowly up and down stairs while holding on to the railing, but after a month, he was able to run up and down them without holding on to anything.
Ferguson says she wants to thank everyone who had donated money since it allowed them to concentrate on improving instead of worrying about the costs.
After all the research he had done about the procedure and the Mexican surgeon, Dr. Elena Solas, he says he wouldn’t have chosen differently.
Although they both say they now have new hope for the treatment of the disease but mostly hope the Canadian government will follow suit and allow the procedure to be done in this country so that MS patients don’t have to travel so far away to have it done.
The Province of Alberta announced Thursday that it would look at the idea of paying for the experimental treatment. Click here to read more from the CBC.