Father paralysed by multiple sclerosis is back on his feet after ditching 75 tablets for ‘natural’ alternative

Tony Paterson, 33, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in January 2011 just one day after landing his dream job

Lydia Patrick
Friday 16 December 2022 10:21 GMT
Multiple sclerosis symptoms and diagnosis

A father who could barely move due to rapidly progressing multiple sclerosis is back on his feet and working as a removal man after ditching 75 tablets a day in favour of cannabis.

Tony Paterson, 33, spends £300 a month on 60g of medical cannabis that he buys from Lyphe.

He was diagnosed with MS in January 2011 just a day after landing his dream job as a chef in the Gleneagles Hotel, in Auchterarder, Scotland.

His condition deteriorated rapidly, forcing him to use walking sticks and a wheelchair, leaving him with no choice but to move back into his parent’s home so they could care for him.

After trying various therapies and medications, Tony hit breaking-point and gave up trying to fight his condition, taking 75 tablets a day to cope, he said.

But when his daughter Zevanna, now eight, was born in August 2014, he decided to look for more help.

In 2020, he started an NHS medical cannabis trial and he stopped taking all his other medication.

After just 10 months Tony was able to walk again. He is now a regular cyclist and runs his own removal business with his brother, Jordan, 29.

Tony smokes around 3g of medical cannabis everyday, but uses more or less depending on how he feels.

He said: “After being diagnosed my whole life was turned upside down.

“I didn’t understand the condition - all I knew is that my body was changing and there was nothing I could do about it.

“I couldn’t see properly, my body was weak and I was completely disorientated.

“I received the phone call to tell me I had MS the day after I’d received the letter for my dream job as a chef with Gleneagle hotel, I was devastated.

“I went down hill really quickly, I had to move back in with my parents and it was tough. I was using a walking stick for several years and I had to use a wheelchair.

“I couldn’t work and I was on so many tablets and struggled with brain fog, confusion, memory issues, mobility issues, my bowels and bladder.

“At one point, I was taking over 20 tablets a day, three or four times a day. It felt endless. I had pills to counteract the symptoms of other pills.

“For me, everything changed the day I started using medical cannabis. It’s completely turned my life around. I never would have been able to get my life back without it.”

Tony went into hospital for an eye squint operation after suffering with double vision, and was then referred an MRI scan before he was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, which means his condition can worsen, then improve.

Over the years he has also suffered with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and bipolar, which he says cannabis has also helped with.

He started looking for different solutions and found an NHS research project to investigate the benefits of medical cannabis.

Tony was able to move into a flat on his own and lives independently with his daughter.

Now, the single father gets his cannabis through Lyphe.

They work alongside Project Twenty2021 a research project working to provide medical cannabis on the NHS.

He said: “My life has improved drastically. I’ve dealt with bipolar, and PTSD and it helps me get on with the day.

“It doesn’t take all the pain away but it’s been the best pain killer and has given me my life back.

“I can move and I can walk, and it’s given me the ability to be a better dad.

“I was devastated to lose out on a dream job at 21 because of my MS diagnosis.

“Now I feel like I’ve been given a second chance. For those people who are in pain, have tried other routes to no avail, think about medical cannabis. It’s changed my life.”

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