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An 11-year-old boy with a condition called ‘suicide sickness’ takes his first steps in months

A boy with a paralyzing condition so painful it’s known as “suicide disease” has taken his first steps in nearly a year after traveling to the US for groundbreaking treatment.

Brave Dillon Wilford, 11, was in so much pain from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) that he even begged his mother Melanie to let him amputate his leg.

But after his mother spent £18,000 to travel around the US for specialist treatment not available in the UK, Dillon was pain-free for the first time in months.

Doctors in Houston, Texas, treated Dillon with a VECTTOR machine, which delivers a form of electrical stimulation to nerves to reduce pain.

And his ecstatic mum Melanie, 43, shared the touching moment Dillon walked for the first time in almost a year with a video call to her sister Maddie, 24, at home.

Melanie said: “He’s got his pain down to zero most of the time, being eight or nine pain, which is crazy.

“Honestly, it’s amazing, absolutely amazing, and all of that was in the space of a couple of days.

“The first night in America, he said it was the most comfortable night’s sleep he’s ever had.

“He was lying on his side, which he couldn’t do, he had on pajama bottoms which he couldn’t do and he had the blankets on him, which he couldn’t do.

“It was so comfortable and it makes such a difference – it’s just amazing.”

Dillon first started showing symptoms in November 2021 when he woke up with a limp. and by that day she was left with debilitating pain.

He was diagnosed with CPRS in January after months of trying to find a cause for his agonizing pain that left medical professionals stumped.

The condition is poorly understood and is nicknamed “suicidal illness.” ‘ as many people with the condition are at risk of suicide due to the extreme pain they experience.

It is also so agonizing that even the slightest contact with the affected area can cause severe pain.

But now, after receiving life-saving treatment in Houston, Texas, Dillon is now able to walk again and his pain level has dropped from nine to zero out of ten.

The therapy involved Dillon being treated with a VECTTOR machine, which acts on nerves and reduces pain.

After just three days of treatment, she was able to wear socks for the first time in a year, and on the fourth day of treatment, she was able to wear shoes for the first time.

Melanie added: “He used the machine and now he’s smiling.

“He hasn’t smiled like that in months.” and months.”

Dillon and his family originally wanted to raise £100,000 to send him to America for a 16-week course of treatment that included light therapy and oxygen treatment.

But then they came across a VECTTOR machine, which provides a form of electrostimulation to the nerves to reduce pain, and they decided to go with that option.

Instead, the total for the trip, including business class flights and a hotel, came to just £18,000.

Dillon has also been allowed to take the £5,000 machine home, meaning he’ll be able to handle his grief now that he’s back in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

He has now started high school too, which Melanie described as ‘unbelievable’ as he was unable to go to school for almost a year due to the pain he was in.

The single mother of four added: “I didn’t even buy the uniform, because I honestly didn’t think he was going to go to school on the first day.

“We came back on Monday and I had to run around Tuesday trying to buy the uniform before coming back on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to hope he’d come back just in case, but he loves it.”

Nursing student Melanie now wants to help bring awareness to other families going through this and let them know that there are other options.

She said: “As a parent, you go through this horrendous and traumatic event that takes your child’s life and you will do anything to make it right.

“I’m talking to so many other parents who are going through the same thing and their kids are missing out on childhood and they want a little bit of hope.”

“We’re just trying to somehow get the machine here because I think it’s important and the NHS just isn’t very open to things, because I guess it’s all about money.

“This is a holistic way to keep a child healthy, this is a way to get Dillon off the massive amount of medication he was on, which is more than most adults have.

“That’s also much healthier and cheaper for the NHS.

“It’s crazy, I just don’t understand the logic of not even looking into something like this.”

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