Nicole Bottles underwent 'liberation therapy' to help combat some of the symptoms she has with Lyme disease.

Liberating Nicole

Controversial therapy helps ease Lyme disease symptoms

It’s controversial,  unapproved and looked at with skepticism but for some it works and many argue it is live-saving.

Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) is a  term developed by Italian researcher Paolo Zamboni to describe compromised flow of blood in the veins draining the central nervous system. Ever since, people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis have been flocking to other countries to have a procedure done which opens the blood veins and relieves many of their debilitating symptoms.

Former East Sooke teen Nicole Bottles, who has been suffering from advanced Lyme disease for the past three years, went to California in July to have the procedure done.

First she had a MRI in Vancouver and her mother Chris Powell said, “sure enough she had blocked veins.”

“Ever since I saw (something about) this in 2009 I wondered if that could help Nicole,” said Powell.

Powell found a doctor in California who was willing to perform the costly procedure because he had a best friend with Lyme disease.

They call it “liberation therapy” and that is exactly what Bottles experienced.

In the recovery room Nicole stated she could feel her legs for the first time in three years.

It was a “crap shoot,” said Powell, but there was a 33 per cent improvement. Nicole’s short term memory improved as did the warmth in her hands and feet.

“My head feels unstuffed,” said Nicole to her mother shortly after the procedure. She also said her legs felt stronger. Nicole has been confined to a wheelchair and movement and touch are painful.

While it may not seem like a big deal to some, Nicole walked (with help) to the sand on the beach in California.

“She walked 20 feet to get into the sand, she loved it, then she walked back to the path and into the chair,” said Powell.

What Nicole got from the procedure is hope. Hope that one day she will be able to live out her life just the same as anyone else, without the restrictions, pain and loss of freedom she is experiencing. There is a chance the procedure will not work in the long run and there may be complications, but they are willing to go through with it.

Powell has become an advocate for CCSVI and during a recent screening of the film on Lyme disease, “Under Our Skin,” she talked with Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South, who talked of presenting a Private Members Bill to the Legislature relating to Lyme and protecting doctors’ rights to treat patients with Lyme disease without fear of harassment.

Ottawa has reversed course and has approved trials for the controversial procedure CCSVI. Nicole’s pain doctor in Duncan, Dr. Bill Code, who calls himself “the rebel with a cause,” is trying to educate people and other doctors across Canada about the possible benefits of CCSVI. Dr. Code has MS.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Edward Milne students clean up Whiffen Spit

Volunteers find styrofoam, cigarette butts and a single shoe

Greater Victoria hardly making a dent in greenhouse gas emissions target

One-per-cent drop from 2007 to 2018 a far cry from the 33-per-cent goal for 2020

VIDEO: Seal pup and mom play and ‘kiss’ in Oak Bay Marina

BRNKL seal cam captures harbour seal growing up in busy harbour

Hearing begins into blind community’s complaint against BC Transit, City of Victoria

Complainant says bike lane infrastructure biased against blind pedestrians

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read