COLIN Campbell expected to be dead by now.

The former IT consultant from Inverness had decided to "take control" over his long-running battle with multiple sclerosis and planned to end his life at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland on June 15. Instead, the 56-year-old is packing up his second-floor flat and preparing to bid farewell to the Highlands on Friday after a housing association stepped in to offer him a ground floor flat nearly 200 miles away in a "supported accommodation" complex in Greenock, Inverclyde.

It came after his plight was thrown into the spotlight in April as part of a campaign on assisted dying in the Herald's sister paper, the Sunday Herald. Mr Campbell has primary progressive MS - a rarer form of the disease which means symptoms steadily deteriorate without any periods of remission - and now uses a walking frame to move around the house and a wheelchair if he goes out, leaving him as a virtual prisoner in his own home.

He said the move to Greenock would give him a new lease of life.

He said: "Where I am now, I'm up two flights of stairs so I jokingly say to people 'I'm dicing with death every day' going up and down the stairs. So from day one in Greenock there will be no more going up and down stairs, because I do live in dread every day of falling down.

"I decided to go to Switzerland because I'd had a really bad winter last year. Obviously with MS you're immune system isn't working properly so I was hospitalised twice in four months, and I thought 'never again'. But I'm now moving into supported accommodation. I'm not going to end up in the situation I was in - lying on the floor for hours and hours waiting for someone to come a rescue me. In this supported accommodation, people have these pendants which you wear so that if you fall on the floor you just press the buzzer and it calls for help automatically."

Highland Council insist they have offered Mr Campbell ground floor supported accommodation in line with his disability, but this is disputed by Mr Campbell.

He said: "People think it's kind of shocking that I've been contacted by a housing association down in Greenock, and it is ridiculous. People say: 'why are you going to Greenock Colin, why not stay in Inverness?'. But they're offering me nothing here'."

He said the housing association in Greenock had asked him not to name them publicly.

Mr Campbell had previously revealed plans to defer his assisted suicide after friends encouraged him to pursue an experimental stem cell therapy in Belgrade, Serbia which has claimed to reverse some MS patients' symptoms. The controversial treatment, costing around £16,000, uses chemotherapy to strip back MS patients' faulty immune system before rebooting it with stem cells. However, his hopes were dashed when the Serbian clinic said they could not accept him for treatment unless he had a ground-floor home for the rehabilitation stage.

Mr Campbell said he had now decided against the therapy despite the move to Greenock after his neurologist advised him against the trip. His hopes are instead pinned to a new drug - ocrelizumab - which is available in the US and currently being reviewed for licence in Europe. It is the world's first treatment for primary-progressive MS and it will be up to the Scottish Medicines Consortium to approve it for use on the NHS in Scotland. However, Mr Campbell added that "kind Christian friends" had also offered him faith healing.

"I haven't ruled out Switzerland - absolutely not. But fortunately I've now got two options: the faith healing and ocrelizumab. Let's see what happens after that."

A Highland Council spokesman said: “Mr Campbell was a private tenant and although his landlord had originally offered to find him alternative accommodation, this did not come to pass so our housing staff have been working with him to find alternative suitable accommodation. A potential level access property has been identified and we are waiting for an occupational therapy assessment to be carried out to see if it is suitable for Mr Campbell’s needs.

"We do have a common housing register 'Highland Housing Register' and assess all applications for housing according to a set policy - to prioritise people in greatest housing need. Priority on medical grounds is assessed by an independent occupational therapist. We assessed Mr Campbell’s needs against our policy and acknowledge his medical needs/requirement for ground floor property.

"Unfortunately the acute lack of available housing stock compared to the need and demand from applicants for housing means it is very difficult to find a house for Mr Campbell immediately."