Ipswich mum Amanda Towers praises 'strong and positive' 16-year-old son Cameron after MS diagnosis
A Suffolk mum has praised her teenage son for his strength and positivity after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Amanda Towers' son Cameron was diagnosed with MS, a chronic disease which damages nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord, at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, in September.
Cameron, 16, had started showing symptoms less than two months before his diagnosis when he noticed a 'smudge' in the vision of one of his eyes.
In the following days, the teenager suffered dizzy spells, lost his balances and felt nauseous and was referred by his GP to Ipswich Hospital.
He underwent tests at Ipswich Hospital but was sent to Addenbrooke's after suffering a stroke-like attack.
An MRI scan revealed lesions on the brain and he underwent a lumbar puncture, which checks for lymphoma cells in the cerebrospinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord.
Amanda, a human resources manager from The Street in Burstall, near Ipswich, said: “While MS was not what we wanted, we thanked God we at last had a diagnosis and knew what we were dealing with.
"Getting there was difficult because it is a hugely complicated condition and rare in children.
“Although it was really hard in the beginning it helped hugely that Cameron never let things get him down, and has remained strong and positive throughout."
Cameron was given steroids to improve his symptoms and was later prescribed six monthly intravenous infusions of Ocrevus - the only approved drug known to target the cells which play a role in the disease. He also transitioned from the paediatric MS service to the adult one.
“I have no hesitation in saying the service from the hospital has been amazing. Our message to anyone who receives a diagnosis of MS is don’t panic – there is expert support out there," said Amanda.
“The transition from the paediatric to adult MS service was seamless and it is reassuring that in addition to a consultant at Addenbrooke’s, Cameron has another at Ipswich Hospital, which is not far from our home.”
Keen sportsman Cameron is now back doing what he loves - playing cricket for the county's Under 18s team as well as for the Copdock and Old Ipswichian Cricket Club.
He also plays cricket for his school, St Joseph's College in Ipswich, and is considering a career in sports science.
"He doesn't let MS define him and has carried with his sports, schoolwork and doing the things he loves," said Amanda.
"It helps that the school and the wider family, including his grandparents, have been so supportive."
She added that the care provided to her son in hospital had been 'fantastic throughout'.
Dr Chitre, who was Cameron’s consultant before his move to the adult MS service, said: “Cameron is an amazing young man with a positive, can-do attitude, and we are delighted to be here for him and other young patients who are increasingly being referred to us from other centres.”