‘Amazing’ young cricketer back on the pitch after MS diagnosis
- Credit: ADDENBROOKE'S HOSPITAL
A 16-year-old Burstall cricketer is back on the pitch, one year after his shock multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis.
Cameron Towers’ journey began on July 31 last year after noticing a “smudge” in one eye while bowling for the Suffolk Under 15s cricket team – but the alarming sign didn’t stop him from taking two wickets.
Two days later however, Cameron’s symptoms began to get worse after suffering a dizzy spell, before losing his balance the following day while watching a test match with dad Lindsay in Birmingham.
He was taken to the nearest hospital, where doctors, who thought it may be a gastric complaint, allowed him to go home on the strict instructions he visits his local GP. They immediately referred him to Ipswich Hospital.
After a barrage of tests, vertigo was suspected to be the cause of his symptoms. However, a stroke-like attack led him to Addenbrooke’s Hospital – where he had a more serious episode.
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An MRI scan revealed lesions on the teenager’s brain and he underwent a lumbar puncture, which checks for lymphoma cells in the fluid surrounding his brain and spinal cord.
On September 19, consultant neurologist professor Alasdair Coles diagnosed Cameron with MS and referred him for treatment from the hospital’s paediatric and adult MS services.
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Now today, thanks to steroids and six monthly intravenous infusions of Ocrevus – the only approved drug known to target CD20-positive B cells – Cameron is back playing cricket for the Suffolk Under 18s, Copdock & Old Ipswichian Cricket Club and St Joseph’s College.
Mum Amanda, a human resources manager, 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. He doesn’t let MS define him, and has carried on with his sports, schoolwork, and doing the things he loves.
“It helps that the school and the wider family, including his grandparents, have been so supportive. And, while Addenbooke’s looked huge and imposing when we arrived, we soon got to know the various staff and they have been fantastic throughout. “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.”
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.”