TWO people in Knutsford who suffer from multiple sclerosis have now both had pioneering surgery overseas.

Colm McLaughlin, of Mereside Road, and Sarah Styles, of Mobbereley Road, say they have been amazed by a radical procedure which is said to reverse the effects of the paralysing disease.

Sarah was inspired to have chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) treatment after reading about Colm’s success in the Guardian.

The 38-year-old has recently returned from Bulgaria for the operation and says she is already reaping the benefits.

Sarah, a former manager for Pennine Acute Hospital Trust, said: “My speech improved immediately and the fatigue has gone.

“My hands have improved but still a bit anaesthetised. I realised I could get up in the morning without a ‘brain fog’. I can do the things I want to do.”

CCSVI treatment works by opening a patient’s blocked vein to prevent iron deposits in the brain.

Sarah added: “It takes the body a while to get used to the blood flow and for the body to repair.

“I’ve still got MS – it’s not a cure. But I’m still continuing to improve.

“On Saturday I was cooking for eight hours. Admittedly I was tired but before I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

But Sarah was shocked when she discovered that her condition was a lot worse than she first thought.

Doctors told her that her azygos and jugular veins were 80 per cent closed and veins in her neck were 50 per cent closed.

Sarah said: “When they told me what blockages I had, I was amazed and thought how lucky I am to be walking around and not disabled.

“They said it was just the luck of the draw what part of the body is affected.”

The operation is usually relatively painless – but Sarah wasn’t so fortunate.

She added: “The pain was so intense that I could hardly breath. I could feel the pressure.

“It felt like something inside me trying to get out.”

But Sarah told the Guardian it was all worth it and she is now weighing up her options for what she wants to do with her future and is considering starting her own business.

The Mobberley Road resident is also a member of the CCSVI UK campaign group and is putting together a video of her experiences for a conference in Glasgow.

She is angry that the treatment is not available in the UK.

Sarah said: “I was so frustrated seeing a neurologist recently who totally dismissed it. He said any benefits I feel now are a placebo.

“I gave him a copy of my discharge summary and he gave it me back. He wouldn’t even keep it in my file.

“Look at the state of the NHS with job cuts and trying to save money. If we could open up formal trials we could move forward and the saving to the NHS would be enormous.

“What do we have to do to make them wake up?”

Meanwhile Sarah’s mum and dad, Barbara and Eric, are delighted to have her home.

She added: “My dad has been so emotional. He was thanking the Bulgaria team for what they did for his daughter and when I met my mum she gave me a big hug.”

If you would like to get in touch with Sarah, email david.morgan and we’ll pass on your details