Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Pioneering treatment helps former Royal Marine with uncontrollable shakes

Mac suffers from uncontrollable shaking meaning he can't pick things up Photo: ITV News

A former Royal Marine from Devon who developed uncontrollable shakes says his life's been transformed by pioneering treatment at a Bristol Hospital- involving robots. Mac MacGregor's tremors had become so bad he couldn't drink out of a cup, or brush his teeth. Now - thanks to radical surgery at Southmead Hospital - he's almost back to normal.

Today Mac MacGregor is almost back to his normal very active self. He was supremely fit. He taught thousands of his fellow Royal Marines to ski, so when he got a deep tremor and Parkinsons it was a hard blow.

Wind the clock back almost a year and this is Mac demonstrating to hospital staff at Southmead in Bristol how bad his shaking is. He can't pick up and drink a plastic cup to take a drink.

Then they switched on a device which sent a tiny electronic pulse telling his brain to behave.

"The device works by having a battery or generator and that sits just under the collar bone. Its all under the skin and then a lead comes off from that battery that plugs in, it goes up and then the end of the lead is pushed down by your friendly neuro surgeon deep into the brain."

– Dr ALAN WHONE, Consultant Neurologist

You can make out the battery shape under Mac's skin. It doesn't bother him at all.

A battery under the collar bone operates the device Credit: ITV News

"It's been, it's not a cure all but it is very near and it is good enough for me."

– Mac MacGregor

"We've been on holiday twice now to the Canaries, been swimming, stuff like that so life has become a bit better, now we've just got to crack the skiing job and get the boat on the water and I'm going to be the incompetent crew!"

– Chez MacGregor, Mac's wife