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23 Nov, 2020 19:54

American man with rare muscle atrophy comes to Russia & walks again, after US doctors gave him no chance of recovery (VIDEO)

American man with rare muscle atrophy comes to Russia & walks again, after US doctors gave him no chance of recovery (VIDEO)

An American man with a rare muscle disorder took a chance on Russia after doctors back home gave him little hope of walking again. In the US, Alan Spencer's prognosis varied between being bedridden for life or wheelchair-bound.

Now, after a month of treatment, under the guidance of Russian specialists, he’s able to walk on his own.

Spencer first felt something was wrong with his health around five years ago. Initially, it was his hands that lost their strength, then his condition began gradually worsening.

He was diagnosed with a very rare inflammatory muscle disorder known as inclusion body myositis, with only five-to-70 people in a million unlucky enough to be afflicted. Spencer, who at the time was Vice-President of Time Warner Cable for West Texas, had to quit his job, back in 2017, as he was unable to work anymore and doctors in the US couldn’t help him.

“You don't actually die, but you lose all your abilities. Your muscles die. .. Your immune system attacks your body… I went to Mayo clinic – (the) best one. They told me there is nothing you could do, just go home, learn how to live with it,” Spencer told RT’s Maria Finoshina.

As Spencer first heard his condition may be treatable in Russia, he initially brushed off such an idea, as he did not have much trust in Russian healthcare altogether.

“To be honest, I didn't tell my friend but I was like, OK, whatever,” he recalled. “You know, as an American, I had stereotypes.”

Yet a glimmer of hope was born, and Spencer wanted to come to Russia to give the treatment a try. It proved to be not quite that easy, given the effectively inexistent transport traffic between the two countries, due the coronavirus pandemic. Spencer’s story first caught RT’s eye back in May, before coming onto the radar of Russian diplomats.

“There was an interview on RT and then the Russian foreign ministry saw me and they helped. I was like, wow,” Spencer recalled.

The man was ultimately able to come to the city of Perm in Russia’s Urals in October, unable to walk without assistance. And, after just a month, the treatment has already worked wonders. Not magic ones, but rather scientific, Spencer says, as he walks on his own.

They say it's science, no miracle.

While he did not even think about contacting the US clinic that failed to help him to tell them about the progress he made, he believes other people enduring the same condition must know about his experience.

“I think about it, I should tell people with such diseases that they have hope at least,” he said. “It shouldn't be a secret. Everybody should know about it.”

Also on rt.com Russia claims its pioneering Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine will cost less than Western rivals as US pharma giants announce price tags

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