Narrator: Although she first noticed the symptoms of ALS in Nov. 1997, Mary was not diagnosed until May of 1998. When I first met her in Oct of that year she used a wheelchair most of the time. But she could still use a walker with help. Here is her first interview.
Narrator: Mary, how old are you?
Mary: Do I have to tell you, I am 59 years old.
Narrator: You have been diagnosed as having ALS, Is that correct?
Narrator: Could you tell me when you were diagnosed with ALS?
Mary: A year ago in November.
Narrator: What were your symptoms or when did you first notice the symptoms of ALS?
You said it has been about 1 year is that right? What were the first symptoms that you noticed?
Mary: My toes had no feeling and then quit working or moving.
Narrator: Shortly after that you were diagnosed with ALS?
Mary: It was almost June when I was diagnosed with ALS.
Narrator: What condition were you in last June, were you able to walk without a walking cane?
Mary: I had to use a walking cane all of the time
Narrator: It is now Oct. and I see that you now use a walker, what did the Doctors tell you about your future?
Mary: He did not say
Narrator: Did the Doctor say he could stop the progression of your ALS or could he reverse the progression?
Mary: There is one drug.
Narrator: Did you consider taking the drug.
Mary: I do take it.
Narrator: Has it helped?
Mary: No not at all.
Narrator: So it has done nothing for you.
Mary: But I am still taking it.
Narrator: That’s O.K.
Mary would you put your hands out?
Could you make a fist?
Do you have full control of your hands?
Mary: I do not have much strength in my hands.
Narrator: Now for your legs, could you pick your legs up like this?
Can you pick up your foot and bend the ankle?
Narrator: Can you move either ankle?
Narrator: I can see that neither ankle will pick up. Are you able to stand up by yourself and use your walker?
Narrator: So you need help to get up on your walker, but once you get on your walker you can are able to walk alone, is that correct?
Mary: There are times when I can get up alone.
Narrator: But you need help most of the time.
We are going to start treating you today and we will be talking to you later and see the progress you are making.
Mary ( wearing blue) [[new movie segment joins]]
Narrator: Mary I think it has been a month and a half since we first treated you is that correct?
Narrator: And since then your husband Tom has been helping you with the RCT home treatment program.
Narrator: We have been using the RCT Protocol with the electric stimulation. Can you tell me in your own words what is the difference?
Mary: I am able to stand up by myself and I can leave my walker and walk alone as long as I touch the wall as I walk.
Narrator: So you do not use the walker anymore?
Mary: No I do not.
Narrator: What about your appetite?
Mary: I am pretty fat.
Narrator: So you have a good appetite again.
Is there anything else you can tell me?
Tom, you are with your wife everyday, what can you tell me that is different?
Tom: The first thing was her fingers were working again in less than 48 hours, but what was really good was by the 3rd. Week she could sit on the car seat and swing her legs in by herself, which she could not do before, now that is really good.
Narrator: Did Mary realize that she was doing this?
Mary: No I did not.
Narrator: Most people don’t realize they are doing something that they were able to do before the problem that they can do after the treatment.
Tom: She can now buckle her own seat belt and there is one other thing that is really important is that for many months Mary could not wash the dishes as her hand were not strong enough. Now she can wash the dishes even the large bowls and the large pots. This is what she could do 2 months before the treatment. She can also stand by the sink by herself without the walker.
Narrator: Tom, let me ask you about her hand strength, what can you tell me? If 0 were no strength and 10 was as strong as she ever was, what is her strength now?
Tom: Before the treatment is was ½ of 1 and now it is 3 ½.
Narrator: That is very good, what else have you noticed about her?
Tom: Her family and myself have noticed that her voice has come back to normal.
Narrator: Yes we all notice her voice was back also.
Tom: I can tell you she was sliding down on a daily basis and new she has turned around and stated up the ladder on a daily basis.
Narrator: Mary let me ask you to do something for me. Could you cross your legs, now the other one.
You could not cross them before without the use of your arms, could you?
Narrator: No, You would always use your arms to cross them, now you do it so naturally.
Could you hold your legs straight out?
Narrator: This is wonderful as you were not able to do that before the treatment.
Mary could you stand up by yourself?
Narrator: Very good
Mary: I will walk for you now
Narrator: We are recording your progress so we can all see the difference. Very good
Mary ( white shirt) [New movie segment joined]
Narrator: ( Mary’s husband Tom passed away of a heart attack before this segment)
Narrator: Mary is with us again today, and this is the 8th. Of Oct. of 1998 and we first saw you in Oct of 1998 and you were on a walker full time. You have been receiving treatments all this time just not as many as before.
Have you been doing well?
Mary: Yes, I am doing well.
Narrator: Mary, can you stand up by yourself?
Now let me see you walk. I see you don’t use the walking cane anymore.
Mary: No I don’t
Narrator: Very good, you say you walk all around your home and you just touch the walls for security and balance.
Mary: Yes, that is correct
Narrator: Mary you live in that body, we don’t, what is your improvement since last October? How much have your improved?
Mary: I am able so to stand and work around the house and put my own clothes on.
Narrator: So you are able to walk as you like around your home without assistance?
Narrator: How are you about getting in the car?
Mary: I do fine and I get out of the car by myself
Narrator: I see your legs are crossing well and how do you feel overall?
Mary: Very good
Narrator: I know we still have some weakness in the ankles and we will work on that along with an exercise program to straighten the ankles and legs and we will start a full treatment now. I will also review your home treatment program and adjust as we need to.
Narrator: Here is Mary leaving clinic with just a supporting arm from her daughter. She shows us how she can walk around her home without assistance by using the walls. Six months earlier Tom passed away and she is now living by herself. She is even able to walk down the wheelchair ramp just using the handrail. Although her doctors diagnosis of ALS was confirmed by 3 other doctors Mary called us and said since she was improving they must have all been wrong. The doctors said she would die in 1999 and it was now 2002. She was laughing about it.
She can now get in and out of a car by herself and often travels to see her children by airplane. At last contact Mary was still improving. She told us that everyone in her church applauded as she walked down the isle by herself.