A MULTIPLE sclerosis patient said she wants to fight for more sufferers of the disease in Scotland to get access to a pioneering stem cell therapy after undergoing the treatment successfully in Mexico.

Rona Tynan, from Inverness, said she has "no regrets" about undergoing the gruelling £45,000 procedure, known as Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT), and has already experienced some reversal of her symptoms.

Read more: Scots MS patients missing out on stem cell therapy offered on NHS England

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She said: "My legs always felt like a ton weight. Now they feel light - I can actually lift them up and move them myself.

"I wasn't moving my left toes at all, now they're wiggling, and my left hand - which was always in a fist clench - will open wide.

"My legs were always swollen and now they're back to normal, and the swelling in my hands has gone down so much that the rings I had been wearing have been falling off my fingers."

HeraldScotland: Rona Tynan pictured with doctors at Clinica Ruiz in Mexico

AHSCT wipes out MS patients' faulty immune systems using high-dose chemotherapy before rebooting it with stem cells harvested from their own bone marrow.

Studies have reported dramatic reductions in disability for among some MS sufferers, but it is also dangerous as chemotherapy destroys the white blood cells responsible for fighting infections. Although fatalities are rare, a month before Mrs Tynan, 50, underwent the procedure at Clinica Ruiz in Puebla, a female MS patient at a clinic in Monterey died after contracting sepsis.

Read more: Inverness MS patient fundraising for Mexico stem cell treatment

Mrs Tynan, a mother-of-two and former Metropolitan Police sergeant, said: "It just all became a massive reality check - I was thinking 'what the hell have I done to myself'. It brings it home how dangerous it is. But that is one fatality in hundreds and hundreds of stem cell transplants."

Mrs Tynan, who has secondary progressive MS and uses a wheelchair, returned home to Scotland last weekend. She admits that she still feels "exhausted" and a full recovery will take months, but she hopes that her disability level - already down from 7.5 out of 10, to 6.5 - will eventually reduce to a four.

She said she wants to help more MS sufferers in Scotland - which has one of the highest rates of the disease in the world - to access AHSCT.

Although it is not routinely available on the NHS, clinical trials into AHSCT are ongoing at hospitals in London and Sheffield and more than 60 MS patients have undergone the treatment "off-trial" on NHS England since 2012. The eligibility criteria is extremely strict - only patients with relapsing-remitting MS, not progressive, who have failed on drug therapies will be considered - but Scotland can send suitable patients to NHS England for the treatment. Funding and referrals are handled centrally by National Services Division. However, to date no Scottish patient has gone forward for AHSCT and patients have previously told the Herald that they felt stonewalled by neurologists hostile to an "experimental" procedure or were wrongly told no funding is available.

Read more: Warning over 'unproven' stem cell tourism 

Mrs Tynan said: "It's all very well getting people to go down to London but three quarters of people that need this won't qualify for London. But Dr Ruiz will take them.

"I wouldn't have qualified for London. There are a major number of people with MS in Scotland who are just being thrown to the dogs.

"They need help and if they're not going to get help here then let them have the help out in Mexico. And I'll tell you, £45,000 is going to be a lot cheaper than what we are going to cost the NHS with our MS when it becomes that we need full-time carers, hoists, maybe hospitalisation. It's a phenomenal amount of money."