JUST weeks before Irene Elliott was due to travel to India for a high-risk treatment for her advanced multiple sclerosis, she received the news that the treatment was no longer available.
“It was devastating, but what was even worse was that around the same time I suffered an unbelievably severe MS attack. I’ve never been more scared,” she says.
Brave Irene, whose story was featured on the cover of “CityNews” on October 10, says she lost control of her body, was close to a coma and regressed to Greek, her first language.
She has spent the past two months in rehabilitation at the Canberra Hospital, relearning everything from how to walk to using a TV remote.
“My brain just couldn’t compute what to do – it’s been exhausting,” she says.
“I know I’ve come a long way but there’s so much more to go.”
Her family raised almost $90,000 for the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in a “Big Fat Greek Fundraiser” in November.
Irene may be eligible for a clinical trial of HSCT in Sydney, but she says there are no guarantees, and she needs to be able to walk 100 metres with an aid first.
She’s also in the process of applying for the treatment in Germany and Italy.
“I have to do it – I’m out of options otherwise,” she says. “My next attack could be disastrous. I’m fearful for my life.”