Judith's Story

The following account was put together from an interview Lara Marks conducted with Judith in 2012. Judith's story is highly personal and is not necessarily reflective of other patients who took Campath-1H for MS.

This shows Judith after she returned from her long stay in hospital where she was treated for meningitis. Credit: Judith.

Some time after my first treatment with Campath-1H, I began to experience difficulties again. By 1996 my condition had worsened to such an extent that I was no longer confident driving and required the use of a wheelchair. With my employees unable to accommodate my disabilities, I was determined to continue working. This I achieved by setting up my own business at home.

I also received more treatment with Campath-1H. This time, however, the drug had little impact. The difficulty was that by now I had developed Parkinson's disease in addition to MS. While drugs partially alleviated my Parkinson’s symptoms, my health continued to undergo a gradual decline and I became increasingly reliant on a wheelchair. By late 2004, I could only walk a short distance with the aid of a frame. In 2005, I experienced a further crisis, suffering meningitis and then paralysis as a result of an abscess that pressed on my spinal cord in my neck. These complications, not considered to be related to my Campath-1H, nearly cost me my life. Over the next 6 months I found myself confined to hospital, with a steel halo screwed on to my head to stabilise the disease in my vertebrae. This was followed by another 12 months of rehabilitation in hospital.

When finally released from hospital, I was confined to a wheelchair, possessing movement in only one arm. No longer able to dress or feed myself, let alone do other daily routine activities, I was now totally reliant on the care of my husband and a carer coming into our home. In spite of all this, I was determined to continue working. This I did with the help of my husband for seven years.

Today I am a quadriplegic, but I believe Campath-1H helped slow down the progression of my MS and gave me the treasured bonus of 5 years more quality of life.