This is Nara Froes, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, when she was 15 years old. She has been a patient of Dr. Coimbra since 2002. She was also the first MS patient of Dr. Coimbra.
Nara is a member of the Brazilian FB groups, but this testimony is from the book "Vitamina D e Esclerose Multipla", by Walter Feldman, MD.
In 2001, Nara started to feel tingling on the left side of her stomach. Soon, it spread down to her leg, first on her tight and then all the way to her toes. Her mother took her to the pediatrician, who thought it could be due to stress - since she had lost her grandmother a few months previously, or a reaction to a vaccine. "I was not very worried," says Nara, "I was only 15. Things bothered me a little, like the feeling of clothes on my skin."
Then, she noticed that her left leg was too weak to support her weight. The pediatrician advised her mom they should see a neurologist. Nara went through a series of tests, and the neurologist told them she likely had multiple sclerosis. He prescribed corticosteroids and an interferon which she should take once a week. "Don't worry," Nara told her mom at the time, "in this life we go through what we have to go trough. Whatever that may be."
But Nara's mom was worried and so she called all her family and friends, asking for help and for any information they might have about doctors and treatments for MS. A solidarity net was formed, with many people looking for a solution. That's how one of Nara's aunts called a friend who was a doctor at UNIFESP, the same university hospital in which Dr. Coimbra practiced and taught at the time.
"One day I got home from school and heard my mom saying on the phone: 'when can I take my daughter?'. Then she hung up and told me to get ready because we were going to Sao Paulo right away, to see a doctor." That day Nara had her first appointment with Dr. Coimbra.
Dr. Coimbra was not sure if the treatment would work for multiple sclerosis, Nara was his first patient with the disease. But seeing the mother's desperation and how young Nara was, he decided to try. She would keep the interferon, and would also take the higher doses of vitamin D that he prescribed for his Parkinson's patients.
In three months, Nara felt better. In six months her MRIs showed that some of her lesions had regressed and there was no new activity. In the beginning of 2003, Nara decided to stop with the interferon, because she had many unpleasant side effects for at least two days after she took the injections. She stopped the medication and was fine for many months, but then she had a flare up. Dr. Coimbra increased the dose of vitamin D, while carefully monitoring her for any possible side effects.
That was Nara's last relapse. She is now 30 years old and has been following the protocol for 15 years. She has graduated from college, works full time, and lives a completely normal life. Since 2003 she has had no further problems with MS, and her MRIs have shown no new lesions or disease activity.