A young boy with a crippling condition that is so painful it’s dubbed the ‘suicide disease’ has taken his first steps in almost a year after traveling across the pond for pioneering treatment in the USA.
Dillon Wilford was in so much pain from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) that he even begged his mother Melanie to let him have his leg amputated.
But after their family spent almost $20,000 to travel from the UK for specialized treatment, the 11-year-old became pain free for the first time in months.
Doctors in Houston, Texas, treated Dillon with a VECTTOR machine, which delivers a form of electro-stimulation to nerves to reduce pain.
Ecstatic with the news, Melanie said it has reduced his pain level to a zero the majority of the time, compared to an eight or nine, which he would routinely rate it.
“Honestly it’s just unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable, and all of that was in the space of a couple of days.
“The first night in the States, he said it was the comfiest night’s sleep he has ever had. He laid on his side, which he couldn’t do (before); he had long pajamas on, which he couldn’t do; and he had the covers over him, which he couldn’t do—so, it’s just amazing.”
Dillon first started showing symptoms almost a year ago in November 2021, when he woke up with a limp and by the evening he was left debilitated by pain.
He was diagnosed with CPRS in January after months of trying to find the cause of the pain which left medical professionals stumped. The condition was so agonizing that even the slightest touch to the affected area caused severe discomfort.
Dillon and his family originally wanted to raise £100,000 to send him to America for a 16-week treatment course which included light therapy and oxygen treatment. But, then they discovered the VECTTOR machine.
Cleared by the American FDA for the treatment of chronic, intractable pain and for the treatment of post surgical/trauma pain, the company’s website explains how the process works: “Based upon acupuncture, physiology, cellular physiology, and anatomy, VECTTOR is designed to stimulate the nerves to produce certain neuropeptides essential for optimal functioning of the body. These neuropeptides are vital for increasing circulation to the skin, bones nerves, muscles, and for reducing oxidative stress.”
After just three days of treatment, he was able to wear socks for the first time in a year and on day four of treatment, he was able to wear shoes for the first time.
“Now he’s smiling, again,” said the joyous mom. “He’s not smiled like this for months and months.”
The family was allowed to take the $5,400 machine home with him, which means he will be able to manage his pain back home in Manchester, England. The treatment, which takes 80 minutes, is given twice daily, but some patients are able to drop back to once a day after the first few weeks. The company says the therapy is easy to administer, and causes no pain or discomfort, and was studied in a small double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled clinical trial for children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Dillon’s new reality supports these claims. He is now back at school after almost a year of absence. The single mother-of-four who is a student nurse reports that he is “loving it.”
Now she wants to help raise awareness for other families who are going through this and let them know that there is another option.
“As a parent, you go through this horrendous and traumatic event that kind of takes your child’s life away from them and you will do anything to put that right.
She and other families are trying to get the National Health Service to offer the machines locally, but she fears the NHS is not open enough to many new treatments.
“This is a holistic way of keeping a child healthy—a way of getting Dillon off the massive amount of drugs that he was on… and far healthier and cheaper for the NHS, as well.”