Bristol mum's hope for 'life-changing' treatment in Mexico following MS diagnosis

  • Watch Louisa Britton's report

A mum from Bristol who has Multiple Sclerosis says the possibility of specialised treatment abroad has given her new hope.

Samantha Brown was diagnosed with MS two years ago. She lost her mother to the condition just 10 days before Christmas last year.

She is not eligible to access the treatment on the NHS, so is hoping a fundraiser could help her secure the treatment privately.

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is an incurable condition which affects the brain and the nerves, and will continue to deteriorate.

Samantha, who has a four-year-old son Harry, was diagnosed in 2021 after she fell badly ill.

She told ITV News West Country: "All of a sudden I just felt really really tired, like a tiredness I couldn't explain - I had to go to sleep.

Mum Sarah was diagnosed with MS when Sam was just two years old Credit: Family handout

"When I woke up I was blind in my left eye, I thought it would go away and as the days went it got worse and I started to get dizzy, started to see double, and by the end of the week I couldn't walk."

When Sam heard the diagnosis, she knew the impact the illness has has she had cared for her mother, Sarah. She died aged 62 last December, having lived with the condition for decades.

Since her diagnosis, Sam has suffered a number of MS flare-ups, but she now hopes a treatment called HSCT could potentially stop the disease from progressing.

Sam Brown says HSCT treatment would help her give her son Harry the best future possible Credit: ITV News

She is not eligible to have it on the NHS - so would need to spend more than £50,000 at a private clinic in Mexico.

Meg Stapleton, from the MS Society, said: "HSCT is a very exciting and important development in MS treatment, we know for some people it can be life-changing.

"In certain cases, it can slow the progression of symptoms however we do note that the evidence is varied and unfortunately HSCT is not effective for everybody living with MS."

Sam added: "MS is unpredictable but the way that it's going for me right now, I think I will probably be using a walking aid permanently by next year and probably be in a wheelchair by five years.

"That's what I personally think, that's the way it's progressing. Obviously, it can affect your mental health as well and that's a big worry, it affected my mum's mental health a lot.

"I just don't want that for me and my son, that's the most important thing, I just need to be there for him basically."