I've been in this wheelchair for seven years but now I can see light at the end of the tunnel; AGGIE'S HOPE FOR LASER THERAPY.
MOTHER-of-three Aggie Galligan is pinning her hopes of walking again on a new medical cure pioneered at a laser clinic.
Mrs Gilligan, has been paralysed for seven years after contracting a rare viral illness - tranverse myclitis.
Since then, Meath-born Aggie he has been confined to a wheelchair and suffers from an array of attendant illnesses such as deep vein thrombosis, brought on by the disease.
The idea of attending the French clinic came to Aggie, who is a publican by trade, after seeing a news item on TV about the revolutionary new laser treatment for people with spinal injuries.
Hidden away in the small French village of Sens-Beaujeu, the clinic, run by Moroccan-born Dr Albert Bohbot, is the only place in the world which offers the pioneering treatment.
Dr Bohbot, who recently addressed the World Health Organisation in Reykjavik, developed the treatment using lasers designed by scientists at NASA.
He calls his ground-breaking treatment Laserpuncture, and that it is is now drawing patients from all over the world.
Most of his patients have been told that they will never walk again. "But they are making progress after my treatment," insisted Dr Bohbot.
"What is more is their recovery will continue, hopefully until they walk unaided again."
Among its success stories is 31-year-old Jonathan Harris who broke his back in a motor-cross accident. After six months of treatment, Harris was taking his first tentative steps.
Aggie, who has in the past visited Knock, Lourdes and seen faith healers, has never given up hope of walking again.
Recovering from one of her many operations she recalls how she found the strength to carry on.
As she lay in bed drifting in and out of consciousness, she imagined she saw her family at her bedside accompanied by a heavenly choir.
"They all think I'm going to die," she thought, "but I'm blowed if that's going to happen. I'm not going to die and, no matter what it takes, I will walk again some day."
Aggie has visited Dr Bohbot's French clinic several times already and her family are convinced they have seen movement in her legs and feet.
The fees for the clinic are about EUR45 per session. However, accommodation and travel for the 1,500-mile round trip to Sens-Beaujeu are where the costs mount up as Aggie has to be accompanied.
Aggie's true grit was recently celebrated when hundreds of her friends and her family arranged a tribute night for her at her local social club.
She added: "I just want to stand serving behind the bar again and and take a walk down the street with my family, I'm always hopeful."
CUTTING EDGE: Mother of three Aggie is making the regular 1,500 mile round trip for treatment
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|Publication:||Sunday Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jun 9, 2002|
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