A MAN who suffers from a paralysing disease is set to travel to Poland for a pioneering treatment which could reverse his condition.

Colm McLaughlin, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), will fly to a clinic in Krakow on June 22 for a radical treatment which has divided the medical community and is not available in the UK.

Only anecdotal evidence currently exists that the £6,000 procedure is effective but the 47-year-old told the Guardian he has been inspired by the success stories.

He said: “I have a friend who had the treatment last week and he’s over the moon. He’s walking better and the strength in his hands is better.

“There’s huge benefits to be had hopefully. Some people are looking at a return to complete normality but I’m trying to temper my enthusiasm and not expect too much.

“At the minimum I’m hoping the treatment will the stop the progression of the disease.”

Colm, of Mereside Road, was diagnosed with primary progressive MS three years ago - a form of the disease which creeps up slowly and can steadily get worse.

He cannot lift his left foot and is recovering from a broken knee cap after a recent fall.

Colm, who will be travelling to Poland with his wife Deborah, added: “Fatigue is one of the biggest killers.

“You have to plan your day to manage what you want to do. It’s a constant battle and it’s different in every case.

“I’m told this could be it and I won’t get any worse but all of a sudden I could be in a wheelchair. It’s the uncertainty that’s really hard.”

As well as Colm’s personal struggle with MS, he is also in a battle with health bosses to get the procedure, known as chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) treatment, accepted in the UK.

He spent three months collecting 10,661 signatures in favour of the procedure and sent the petition to Parliament.

But it fell on deaf ears as Colm received a letter saying CCSVI is not recognised as a treatment.

He said: “For it to be accepted in the UK, we’re talking years of trials. But people with MS don’t have years.

“Every day you get slightly worse. You can’t wait to have this done.

“The UK is a first world country and we’re not doing enough research about MS.

“I’m in a fortunate position where I can pay for the treatment but a lot of people can’t - that’s what this campaign is about.”

The treatment, created by Dr Paolo Zamboni, involves opening the patient’s blocked vein to prevent iron deposits in the brain.

However, the treatment does not come without its controversy as it was banned in America after a woman died of a brain hemorrhage during the procedure in August 2009.

But Colm says the success stories outweigh the risk.

He said he, his wife Deborah and his daughters Emily, 18, and Alice, 20, were devastated when he was diagnosed.

“It knocked me for six,” Colm added.

“I had no clue what was wrong or that it was as serious as it was. Doctors have said they’ve got nothing to offer me.

“There’s so many snake oil treatments out there that people think it’s another one of those.

“But there’s so many success stories about people who have had it done. It’s quite inspiring, it could bring a tear to a glass eye.”