Friday, December 01, 2006

Aspirin helps man walk again

Published on 01/12/2006

A WHEELCHAIR-bound man is walking again, thanks to a new diagnosis and a course of aspirin.

Simon Overton, 35, of Little Clifton, was climbing in the Lake District four years ago when he collapsed.

He suffered weakness to his right hand side and was admitted to hospital, where he was told by doctors that he had Multiple Sclerosis-type symptoms.

He recovered, but was affected by similar symptoms after collapsing during climbing trips to Kazakhstan and the Alps, and was resigned to using a wheelchair.

He said: “I kept collapsing and when I tried to get back on my feet, any exertion brought back the symptoms - falls, weakness and shaking.”

Mr Overton, a teacher at Cockermouth School, fought for a further diagnosis of his condition and has started to walk again in the last four weeks after being advised to take aspirin.

He was referred privately to Professor Terence Daymond, a specialist in Sunderland, who consulted London specialist Dr Hyde who is a world expert in misdiagnosis.

At the weekend Mr Overton saw Dr Hyde, who confirmed that tests had shown his condition was not MS but thrombophilia, a hereditary blood clotting abnormality which also affects his sister.

Mr Overton had mentioned his sister’s condition to his own doctor when he had his first attack.

He said: “He made a note on my file but he didn’t do anything. Her condition is quite mild compared to mine.

“You just assume that doctors know best and I thought the link had been considered and discounted. I’m glad I went private. I mentioned my sister to Professor Daymond. He didn’t want to give an opinion, but Dr Hyde saw the significance.

“It was very good to have it confirmed and over the past four weeks I have massively improved. I could hardly walk at all when I saw Prof Daymond.

“He spoke to Dr Hyde, who suggested I had tests and that I started to take aspirin. Hopefully, I will continue to improve and I will be going back for further tests.

He said: “I am not climbing any more and I have been told not to go to altitude.”

“It’s very good to have had the real cause of my problem confirmed. I feel better than I can remember for years. I’m still using a wheelchair at school but in four weeks I feel massively improved.”