A north-east multiple sclerosis sufferer who fears she may never stand again has appealed for help to fund a trip to Mexico for life-changing treatment.
Maggie Conner’s family have been working hard to raise cash so the mum-of-two can travel to Mexico for stem cell treatment in a bid to stop the rapid progression of her MS.
So far, her family have saved and raised around £30,000 but still have £20,000 to raise to make the trip to Mexico a reality.
This would help fund both the 28-day treatment, and also flights, for both Maggie and a companion to go to Mexico with her.
But sadly the 35-year-old, who has been in hospital for the past four months, has seen her condition rapidly worsen to the point where she fears she may never stand, let alone walk, again.
Maggie, who uses a wheelchair to get around, said: “My MS was playing up majorly and I was having really bad spasms.
“It’s kind of like being in labour – but all the time. My muscles were in overdrive.
“I can’t even self-transfer between my bed to my chair.
“If I need the shower I’m hoisted into it.
“I just think, don’t let me get any worse.
“I want to be able to move from my chair to my bed.”
Maggie said it has been “horrible” to be apart from husband Paul, 39, and daughters, Megan, 5, and Leah, 3, while receiving treatment in hospital.
But said she was “very excited” to return to the family’s Cruden Bay home yesterday, which has been fitted out with slings to lift her in and out of bed and her wheelchair.
Maggie said: “It’s been horrible to be apart from them.
“It’s heartbreaking to have two little ladies at the age they’re at.
“They’re growing up and I’m not there to see it.
“When I got moved to Ugie Hospital (in Peterhead) they could come into hospital before they’d go to pre-school and before they went home.
“Paul has been under so much stress and strain and he’s doing everything like a single father.
“I’m very excited to get home, I honestly can’t wait. It will be nice to meet my new carers and take it from there.
“This isn’t something I thought I’d have to go through.”
Maggie, who was diagnosed in 2013, has seen her mobility greatly reduced in just a few years and has been left unable to walk or stand.
She hopes to receive AHSCT – autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation – before her condition gets any worse.
The process involves the removal of stem cells from the bone marrow which are then treated and stored.
In the meantime, patients have chemotherapy to kill off the immune system, then the treated cells are reintroduced with the aim that the body will regenerate a new immune system.
She previously told the Evening Express that if the treatment helps her get her life back then it is “totally worth all the risks”.
Maggie said: “I’m speechless. Everyone has just been so generous and caring.
“Everyone in Cruden Bay has been amazing.
“The pharmacy has even been collecting money for me.
“I hate asking people for money but when you’re facing something like this…nobody understands what it’s like until you end up in that situation.
“No one has any idea how grateful I am.
“Any donation is appreciated and even just sharing my story so people can see it.”
To make a donation to Maggie’s treatment, visit the Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/help-get-mags-to-Mexico