"“I suffered a haemorrhage and ended up in intensive care. This treatment makes such a difference to my mobility. Without the Botox injections I am at a higher risk of falling and my movement is very limited. I can now drive again and I have my independence back."
Someone who knows all too well about this devastating effects of stroke is Elizabeth (Mandy) Bosson. Her life turned upside down after suffering a major stroke in September 2012 at just 51 years old. What began as a horrendous headache during a work meeting left Mandy paralysed down one side within half an hour.
“I suffered a haemorrhage and ended up in intensive care, followed by lengthy rehab, undergoing significant physio, speech pathology and occupational therapy. The most frustrating thing was being unable to drive. I was house bound,” Mandy said.
Mandy’s life changed instantly, the stroke leaving her with severe physical side effects, from having a successful career and the freedom to live, she was left unable to talk and was forced to give up her job at The City of Adelaide.
Refusing to accept her prognosis, Mandy pushed herself, undergoing intensive rehab and learning how to speak again. Mandy found hope when Dr Gupta became her specialist and began injecting Botox in her leg to assist with her movement.
“I feel the effects begin to kick in after about a week, and with the help of physiotherapy, it makes such a difference to my mobility. Without the Botox injections I am at a higher risk of falling and my movement is very limited. I can now drive again and I have my independence back,” Mandy said.
“I couldn’t have hoped to achieve anything like that without the Botox injections.”
Now, more stroke patients who suffer from lower limb spasticity will now have greater access to important Botox therapy after it was added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Associate Professor Anupam Gupta from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research, was a key figure in lobbying for the treatment (called Botulinym Toxin) to be listed on the Scheme to aid recovery for patients suffering from spasticity after stroke.
The Hospital Research Foundation is supporting A/Prof Gupta’s research into this area, with the PBS listing expected to benefit around 2800 patients across Australia.