Hunt after cure for MS disease

Posted: December 22, 2014 at 10:44 am


HOPE: Andrew Hunt, pictured with his wife Marie and children Jesse and Samuel faces limited time with his family unless a new form of stem cell treatment can reverse his deterioration from multiple sclerosis.

Andrew Hunt is betting his life on a high-risk, brutal and unproven medical treatment on the other side of the world, in a bid to beat the disease slowly killing him.

The Cambridge-based anaesthetic technician was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis eight years ago.

The news he had the disease, which attacks the nervous system in people's bodies, came just two weeks after Hunt asked his girlfriend Marie for her hand in marriage. They have since tied the knot.

Since then, she has helplessly watched her husband daily endure the characteristic symptoms of the disease: Fatigue, leg spasms, loss of balance, muscle weakness and tightening, and severe heat intolerance.

As is common for those who suffer from multiple sclerosis, Hunt is getting progressively worse. In mid-September, the disease forced him to resign from his job as an anaesthetic technician at Southern Cross Hospital.

His wife and sons - two-year-old Jesse and four-month-old Samuel - have been left with little hope of a stable future

But come early January, Hunt will leave his family for two months to become the first New Zealander to travel to Chicago for a treatment known as Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT).

The treatment is being trialled internationally for multiple sclerosis and is not yet approved in New Zealand. Although it has been labelled a high-risk treatment that is deemed unproven the Hunt family say it's a risk they are willing to take.

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Hunt after cure for MS disease

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