A Strabane cancer patient who was given nine months to live last November now looks to be completely cured of the disease.
Joe McGarrigle has spent recent months travelling to and from China, where he underwent pioneering medical treatment at the Next Generation Clinic.
The latest scans of the 31 year-old forensic psychologist’s lungs and chest show his tumour “has now fully disintegrated and can be classed as dead,” his brother Sean told the ‘Journal’ yesterday.
“The experts are fairly confident that Joe is now completely cancer free and that is great news but we are not getting too carried away at this stage,” he added.
Joe is now awaiting a CT PET Scan at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital to confirm that the cancer is gone. “The Chinese oncologist believes his condition is just getting better and better and that when Joseph has his next CT PET Scan this will be proven.”
He said that Joe is “over the moon” and is looking forward to finishing his next course of treatment in China at the end of August.
Following the revelation from China, Sean has hit out at medical experts in Northern Ireland who claimed nothing could be done to save his brother’s life.
“It was a bit of ignorance on their parts and at the end of the day, no one has a right to play God. Specialists told Joseph that under no circumstances should he go to China because it wouldn’t work.
“Joseph asked what his options here were and was basically told there were none.”
Joe successfully battled against cancer in 2008 and when it returned last year, the people of Strabane and beyond rallied behind him to raise in excess of £100,000 for specialist treatment at the Next Generation Clinic.
Sean paid tribute to those who supported Joe in his fight for life, adding that there were “no words to do our overwhelming sense of gratitude justice”.
“Thank you one and all for making this possible. My family is forever indebted to the people of Strabane and beyond for what they have done. It has been overwhelming,” he said.
The Next Generation Photodynamic Therapy (NGPDT) has been developed through years of research and development. The clinic states that NGPDT identifies and destroys cancer cells while leaving the rest of the body’s cancer cells unharmed.
“Joseph is proof that it can be done. It does cost a lot of money but it gives people hope.”