Chris Kamara says he is ‘forever grateful’ to Kate Garraway for urging him to seek ‘experimental therapy’ in Mexico after revealing his battle with debilitating speech disorder Apraxia

Chris Kamara hopes his third trip to Mexico for life-changing treatment will help him overcome his speech disorder (pictured after the launch of five-a-side football tournament Vantasy Football with Mercedes Benz)
Advertisement

Chris Kamara hopes his third trip to Mexico for life-changing treatment will help him overcome his speech disorder – and will be forever grateful to Kate Garraway for her help in his time of need.

The former Portsmouth and Swindon Town footballer, 66, was diagnosed in 2021 with apraxia, a motor disorder caused by damage to the brain that significantly impairs speech.

Advertisement

The diagnosis led Kamara to step away from many of his TV commitments for a while while he came to terms with the diagnosis.

He has credited friend Kate and her late husband Derek Draper, who lost his battle with COVID-19 in January, for inspiring him to seek help abroad, and now he is confident he will soon return where he was.

Kamara has been to the NeuroCytonix clinic in Monterrey, Mexico, for treatment twice, and he hopes his third will help him get back to his old self.

Chris Kamara hopes his third trip to Mexico for life-changing treatment will help him overcome his speech disorder (pictured after the launch of five-a-side football tournament Vantasy Football with Mercedes Benz)

Chris Kamara hopes his third trip to Mexico for life-changing treatment will help him overcome his speech disorder (pictured after the launch of five-a-side football tournament Vantasy Football with Mercedes Benz)

The former Portsmouth and Swindon Town footballer was diagnosed in 2021 with apraxia, a motor condition caused by damage to the brain that affects the ability to speak.

The former Portsmouth and Swindon Town footballer was diagnosed in 2021 with apraxia, a motor condition caused by damage to the brain that affects the ability to speak.

The former Portsmouth and Swindon Town footballer was diagnosed in 2021 with apraxia, a motor condition caused by damage to the brain that affects the ability to speak.

He has credited girlfriend Kate (pictured) and her late husband Derek Draper, who lost his battle with COVID-19 in January, for inspiring him to seek help abroad

He has credited girlfriend Kate (pictured) and her late husband Derek Draper, who lost his battle with COVID-19 in January, for inspiring him to seek help abroad

He has credited girlfriend Kate (pictured) and her late husband Derek Draper, who lost his battle with COVID-19 in January, for inspiring him to seek help abroad

WHAT IS APRAXIA OF SPEECH?

Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult to speak.

This disorder can make pronouncing the correct sounds and words very difficult and can be experienced as unclear.

It is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control how muscles move, leading to apraxia of speech.

He said: ‘I know what it’s like to be isolated – and to have very dark thoughts. When I was first diagnosed with my disease, I didn’t tell my wife, my family, or my friends.

READ ALSO  Jubilation as Kenyans Sends Happy Birthday Wishes to Famous Radio Presenter as She Turns Year Older

“And suddenly, when I revealed my truth, I got help from all kinds of people.

‘Kate Garraway was one such person who sought help after taking her late husband to Mexico for experimental therapy not available in Britain.

‘I am incredibly grateful for her support. I’ve been twice now and have made real progress each time.

‘I hope that with a third trip booked I can improve my condition even further.’

He added: ‘I still have my days off, but I would say I’m 20% away from where I was three and a half years ago.’

Founded in 2018, the NeuroCytonix clinic welcomes patients from around the world for experimental treatments and “innovative solutions to repair the brain and cure the incurable.”

Cerebral palsy, dramatic brain jury, long-term COVID brain fog and stroke are among their core treatments.

Kamara admitted last year that he felt like a

Kamara admitted last year that he felt like a

Kamara admitted last year that he felt like a “fraud” because of the apraxia that affected his speech

Kamara initially hid his condition from his family because he 'didn't want to be a burden'

Kamara initially hid his condition from his family because he 'didn't want to be a burden'

Kamara initially hid his condition from his family because he ‘didn’t want to be a burden’

Kamara was speaking as he teamed up with Mercedes-Benz Vans to help launch Vantasy Football, a five-a-side tournament to bring van drivers together through team sport and improve mental wellbeing.

He is hosting the event, which is exclusively for van drivers and takes place in August at St George’s Park, England’s football training ground.

And after a 20-year playing career that ended with a brief spell at Bradford City in 1995, the former midfielder knows how important sport can be.

“Spending time alone, not talking to people, these things have a real impact on mental health,” he revealed.

‘I know what isolation does to you. Sport is such an important part of my life and my recovery.

READ ALSO  Zendaya fans call out her boyfriend Tom Holland over the picture he posted on her birthday: 'Why are all men like this?'

‘The camaraderie of sport – being part of a team – is such a great way to overcome loneliness.’

The presenter and former footballer says Kate Garraway urged him to seek treatment in Mexico after taking her late husband for experimental therapy not available in Britain.

The presenter and former footballer says Kate Garraway urged him to seek treatment in Mexico after taking her late husband for experimental therapy not available in Britain.

The presenter and former footballer says Kate Garraway urged him to seek treatment in Mexico after taking her late husband for experimental therapy not available in Britain.

Former political lobbyist Derek lost his battle with COVID-19 in January.  almost four years after the respiratory disease was diagnosed

Former political lobbyist Derek lost his battle against COVID-19 in January.  almost four years after the respiratory disease was diagnosed

Former political lobbyist Derek lost his battle with COVID-19 in January. almost four years after the respiratory disease was diagnosed

Kamara previously revealed that he once considered taking his own life as he struggled to come to terms with being diagnosed with apraxia.

The TV personality has established himself as one of football’s most loved and celebrated sports broadcasters during his career with Sky Sports.

In a new book titled ‘Kammy’ published by the Daily Mirror, Kamara admitted in his darkest moments that he contemplated suicide because he did not want to burden his wife Anne.

“I’m going to confess something now, something I’ve never mentioned before,” Kamara wrote. “It’s hard for me to talk about it, so please be patient.

‘I was worried about where I would end up. Would my physical and neurological decline continue? And I was more concerned about the effect it would have on the people around me.”

He added: “I am a man who has always wanted to help, provide, love and cherish the people around me. And now I could only see myself as a burden. A shell of the man I was, that they had to take care of.’

‘Seeing myself like this was like staring into an abyss. I could never reconcile that image in my head. It was unthinkable.’

“And at that moment I thought, ‘They would be better off without me.’

For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritan chapter. See www.samaritans.org for details.

WATCH VIDEO

DOWNLOAD VIDEO

Advertisement