Dad’s fury at ‘miracle cure’ ban

Dr Joseph Chandy and Norman Imms.
Dr Joseph Chandy and Norman Imms.

A dad has called for a “miracle” vitamin treatment to be reinstated as he says previous bans have left his own daughter wheelchair-bound.

Norman Imms’ daughter Wendy Kitching, 42, has been a patient of Horden-based doctor Joseph Chandy since she was a young girl.

The former Royal Navy Wren went to him with fatigue and lethargy symptoms, and in 2001 Dr Chandy diagnosed B12 deficiency – a condition suffered by her parents, grandparents and a brother.

She was prescribed B12 supplement and her family saw a huge improvement in her condition.

But when the treatment was withdrawn due to previous controversy, her condition deteriorated and Norman claims it left Wendy debilitated in a wheelchair.

Dr Chandy hit the headlines earlier this month after the General Medical Council suspended him from prescribing the simple vitamin B12 treatment – as the National Institute for Clinical and Health Care Excellence (NICE) does not recommend B12 to treat fatigue.

Now Norman Imms is pleading with NICe to overturn its decision to prevent other families from suffering.

It is the third time Dr Chandy has had to withdraw the treatment for his patients. In 2001 the former Easington Primary Care Trust (PCT) halted prescription for similar reasons.

But after a campaign by patients, the treatment was quickly reinstated, until 2006, when the newly-formed County Durham and Darlington PCT ordered its suspension.

Dr Chandy says within a month of initial treatment Wendy, who is mum to Stephen Kitching, 19, had improved vastly, with her B12 count shooting up from 170 to 1,346.

But each time the treatment has been withdrawn, her condition has deteriorated – and now she is wheelchair-bound with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)-like symptoms and living at the Hawthorns Care Home in Peterlee.

Dr Chandy said Wendy had recently had trouble swallowing and had to be admitted to hospital, and that her father Norman told him he “nearly lost her”.

Wendy has lived at the Hawthorns for three years.

Norman, 69, from the Edenhill area of Peterlee, says he overcame faigue symptoms due to Dr Chandy’s B12 prescription.

He has even written to Prime Minister David Cameron, Health Minister Jeremy Hunt and the GMC pleading with them to lift the ban.

He said: “Undoubtedly, Wendy would not have ended up the way she is if she had been allowed to continue on the B12 injection.

“I’m delighted with Dr Chandy. He is a phenomenon and brilliant in his work.

“I know many people are unhappy with the ruling.

“It’s a travesty.”

Norman added that his wife Cathy’s twin sister Maureen Blencowe, from Sunderland, also had B12 deficiency, but died aged 44 after developing MS-like symptoms.

Former midwife Norman said he has dementia and Dr Chandy is convinced Norman’s memory loss would have improved massively if he had had B12 earlier.

Dr Chandy said withdrawal of the treatment is “barbaric” for patients.

He added: “For patients like Wendy and others it’s a huge insult to leave ordinary vulnerable people like this.

“So many people are suffering.”