The journalist and presenter Andrew Marr has revealed he will be travelling to Florida for a controversial procedure he hopes will help him overcome the effects of the stroke he suffered almost four years ago.
Describing the trip as a “holiday”, he explained how he will hang upside down as a drug, originally developed to treat arthritis, is injected into his spinal fluid.
In an article for The Spectator, Andrew, 57, explained that he is still “semi-paralysed on the left side” following the stroke.
The father-of-three wrote: “I can work, drink, see friends, paint, listen to music and irritate my children like before.
“But I can’t run or cycle or swim, and I walk very unsteadily and slowly.”
Adding that regularly dropping things and taking a long time to get dressed is “a bit of sod,” he told readers he was prepared to give a new treatment a try.
The anti-inflammatory drug, etanercept, is being used by the clinic – near Miami – to treat stroke survivors, but its molecules are too big to pass between the blood and brain.
Hence the need to inject it directly into the spinal fluid while upside down, Andrew explained.
The experimental treatment, which can costs thousands of dollars, has yet to be tested in full, but no cases of serious side effects have been reported so far.
While he admitted that some people “spit disdain” at the procedure, he confidently concluded: “It’s my Christmas present to myself and by the time you read this I will know whether it has worked.”