Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stem cell treatment did not work for Mt’mellick patient

By: Chris Fingleton

A MOUTMELLICK resident, who last year under-went radical stem cell treatment in his battle against multiple sclerosis, has admitted that, “the treatment did not work” and has branded the doctor who carried it out as “a cheat and a fake”.
Vernon Mulqueeney, who is originally from Newbridge, was struck down with multiple sclerosis in 2002. Last year, Vernon turned himself into a human guinea pig in his battle against the dis-ease and after a major fund-raising effort under-taken by his family and friends, was able to fork out •20,000 to have the revolutionary treatment at an Irish hospital. He still refuses to name the exact location, other than say it was in the south of the country.

Now, all most a year later and confined to a wheelchair, Vernon has admitted that the treat-ment did not work, even though he initially thought it had been successful.

We knew from the word go it wasn’t what it was meant to be, but you’re always hoping for the best. I should feel a lot worse than I do,” said Vernon.

“I’m in a wheelchair now and my eyesight is a little worse and this all happened just a few months after the treat-ment,” he added.

Describing his current condition Vernon told the Laois Nationalist: “I now have very little mobility in my limbs and I still can’t read a newspaper or a book. Maybe that is why I feel it safer to be in a wheelchair.”

Although disappointed the stem cell treatment did not work, Vernon admitted that if someone came knocking on his door, he would still “take hand and all” if they offered him a cure.

“I still have a positive outlook. I have to because I’ve a wife and three children. You have to remain positive.

Asked if he felt cheated by the doctor who carried out the treatment Vernon said: “Of course I do - if I was to dwell on it and yes of course I feel cheated but I wanted a miracle and I put myself in that situation. I trying to be polite but I don’t know what they were. When I look back I often ask myself was that a bloody doctor at all? I now realise he was a fake.”

“I’ve moved on, there is no point dwelling on it. I’m still gob-smacked at the generosity of the people. . I would have loved to move on in a different direction but it wasn’t meant to be,” he said.