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Grandad with MS takes first steps in 28 years thanks to new exercise regimen

Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,059

Scope community team

edited April 9 in Healthy living
Taken from Metro:
A grandad with multiple sclerosis (MS) has taken his first steps in nearly three decades thanks to a free exercise course. Merlin Curtis, 75, was diagnosed with MS in 1987, and, after first relying on crutches for several years, has needed a wheelchair to get around since the early 90s.

However, after taking part in a free 16-week exercise course from the MS Society, the grandfather of four was able to take his first steps in 28 years. The course involved circuit-style sessions with upper and lower body movements, cardio and core work.
Merlin, who had tried physiotherapy in the past, wasn’t sure about the exercise course at first. But, after four months, his strength improved, and he was able to go from standing to taking steps with the help of a frame.
Merlin, who lives in Mountain Ash in South Wales with his wife of 54 years, said: ‘It’s so hard to put that feeling into words – it was absolutely wonderful! After 28 years of not walking, I never imagined that moment would happen. My wife was by my side and couldn’t believe it either. And the first time my children and grandchildren saw me taking steps their eyes were like saucers! It’s completely changed by life. I feel far more optimistic about the future, and I feel better in myself. I can’t emphasise the importance of exercise for people with MS enough.’
‘Coronavirus had a huge impact on me’ said Merlin. ‘I was spending a lot of time sitting around watching TV or doing quizzes and started to undo all the progress I’d made. Then in November the realisation hit me that I needed to get active again. I found out the MS Society were running classes online, and now I’m doing two Zoom classes a week – and back walking again!’

Have you tried using exercise to get more mobile? Do you have a success story? Have you been able to access any accessible exercise opportunities over lockdown? Do you have any plans to start exercising again after lockdown has ended?

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