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Former nurse starts awareness campaign into 'demon disease'

Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Elizabeth Wood who wants to raise awareness of the condition

A FORMER nurse is campaigning to raise the profile of multiple sclerosis (MS) - a condition she describes as a "demon disease" that has left her lonely and isolated.

Elizabeth Wood, 51, said the condition, which she got aged 35, had changed her from someone who led an active, working life into a wheelchair-bound person who does nothing.

She now wants to get people talking about MS and raising money to help fund treatment and possibly find a cure.

"I want to raise the profile of MS in Bradford and look at things around research into it, such as stem cell therapy research which is supposed to be wonderful but no-one knows anything about it," said Mrs Wood, of Idle.

"There is a lack of information, a lack of explanation, and a lack of input from doctors and other professionals.

"We used to have a hyperbaric oxygen unit here but now it is the other side of Leeds.

"I think MS is almost forgotten about in Bradford. I would like to see more money raised for research into MS, into some sort of treatment, and hopefully eventually leading to a cure.

"You can only raise money by giving people awareness."

She added: "I used to have a decent job. Now I am lonely and isolated. I was a nurse for 32 years. I had to give up my wonderful job because of this demon disease.

"I sit here all day on my own all the time and there is nothing I have seen in the media about MS at all.

"There has been a wonderful breakthrough with cancer, but there will never be any breakthrough with MS until people sit up and take notice and try to raise people's knowledge."

Mrs Wood was a theatre nurse in operating theatres at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

She said: "When I found that I was not well enough to work in the operating theatre was when there were certain things I kept forgetting. You realise that something was not right and you were going to put patients at risk, so you come away from it. You never want to put any person at risk.

"That screwed up my life, really. If I had more support or there was more knowledge, or more help for people that were working, they could maybe carry on for a bit longer.

"I was a very active person. I went to university, had my three children, kept my home going, looked after all the mundane things in life at home, did the garden, went to work, and went to lots of different groups. Now I just do nothing.

"I live with my husband. He still works but it is very hard for him as well."

Janine Bennett, of the MS Society, said: "We see the devastating effect that MS has on people like Elizabeth every day. Many people find living with the condition extremely isolating and lonely and often come up against prejudice from people who don’t understand how debilitating it can be.

"That’s because awareness of the condition is still pretty low and often confused with other conditions."

More than 100,000 people live with MS in the UK. Symptoms usually start when people are aged in their 20s and 30s and it affects almost three times as many women as men.

Ms Bennett added: "We're fighting for better treatment and care to help people with the condition take back control. We want people like Elizabeth not to have to face MS alone."

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by THETELEGRAPHANDARGUS
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length


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