Hartlepool dad Eric Thomson will renew his vows after life-changing MS surgery

Eric and Joanne Thomson.

Eric and Joanne Thomson.

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Harltepool dad Eric Thomson is hoping he will be able to dance with his wife again when he renews his vows following his life-changing MS surgery.

Just months after his pioneering stem cell surgery, Eric, 50, from Jowitt Road, plans to renew his vows to wife Joanne in November to mark their silver wedding anniversary.

Eric and Joanne Thomson. Photograph by FRANK REID

Eric and Joanne Thomson. Photograph by FRANK REID

Eric, who will travel to the Riaz Clinic, in Mexico on June 19, hopes his Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) is successful so the occasion is a double celebration.

“It is quite a funny story of how it came about,” Eric said.

“I had not had a good night sleep and it was around 3am in the morning, when I looked over at Joanne asleep and put on Facebook that she looked that good sleeping, that if everything goes well with the HSCT, I am going to marry her again.

“But, I said that if she elbows me one more time the wedding’s off!

Eric and Joanne Thomson. Photograph by FRANK REID

Eric and Joanne Thomson. Photograph by FRANK REID

“Joanne is over the moon about it and I am really looking forward to dancing with her again to the song we got married to which was one by The Paris Sisters.”

Eric’s wife Joanne said: “It was Eric’s idea to mark our 25th wedding anniversary, which is on November 23.

“He wants to be able to dance with me when we renew our vows on November 19 at The Avenue in Hartlepool.
“I had an abscess when we first got married so we didn’t have any wedding photos, so it will be lovely to have some this time around.”

And the good news keeps on coming, as fundraiser Angela Crowe has announced that they are just £2,500 away from reaching the total of £38,650 for the operation. The family had to take out a loan of over £16,000 to pay for the surgery, but have nearly paid it all back thanks to generous fundraisers.

“We raised £21,700 and had to borrow the rest, but now we are just £2,500 short of paying the loan back,” Angela said.

“The vows renewal will be a great end to the year.”

The couple will use a donated wedding package worth £500 from their venue, The Avenue Ballroom in Hartlepool, to pay for the cost of the celebration.

When Eric was given the devastating diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS four years ago, he was told there was no treatment in this country and was forced to watch his whole life change as symptoms progressed.

But after hearing of the possibility of pioneering stem cell treatment abroad, friends and family rallied round to raise the funds for his Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantations (HSCT).

If successful, the treatment offers the possibility of slowing – if not stopping – the progression of his MS, and improve mobility.

To donate to Eric’s cause please visit: http://www.gofundme.com/HSCTforEricT.