Kathryn’s Story

Meet Kathryn

Kathryn is a client with multiple sclerosis (MS) who went through the PoNS Therapy™ at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic.

A photo of Kathryn Watkins, a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic

Kathryn’s Journey:

I have multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive neurological automimmune disorder which was diagnosed in November 2018, but I had symptoms going back to 2013. I became disabled as soon as my condition came to light (needing a walking aid), but it took me two years to get a formal diagnosis of MS.

I have been taking the safest DMT (disease modifying therapy), copaxone, which I have to self-inject three times per week. Also, I have been following a gluten and dairy free diet.

Why did you decide to seek help at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic? What treatments or services did you receive from us?

I heard about PoNS Therapy™ during COVID lockdown in 2020. At that time, I learned that Montel Williams, a TV host, had MS and got the PoNS. What finally gave me the push to get PoNS Therapy was that in January 2022, I lost my balance, fell and fractured the metatarsal bone in my foot. I had to wear a thick-soled boot while the bone healed. At that point, I needed to do something about my balance because it was way below normal and my foot bone was broken.

The treatments I received at SNPC focused on my balance system. It was determined early on that my vestibular system was affected. During PoNS Therapy, I did the treadmill, standing on a two-inch thick foam pad sometimes with eyes closed. The Balance Master machine was a very high-tech device that helped improved my balance.

How did you come across our clinic?

I came across your clinic by searching online. There were also YouTube videos showing patients who had received PoNS Therapy, one of which was Ardra Shepherd who makes clothing for disabled people. Ardra has secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS).

What was unique about your experience at our clinic?

The therapists at SNPC are patient, knowledgeable and kind. Brodie challenged me so that I could reach the next level in my functioning.

Do you have any advice to people who are suffering from the same condition?

Other than doing PoNS Therapy, get on the MS direct diet. It is based on scientific research from Dr. Ashton Embry, PhD whose son (Mat) was diagnosed with MS in the 1990s. Mat has no disability from following the diet which has kept me stable for four years now. 

Anything else you would like to share about your story?

My balance used to be so bad that when I started the PoNS program, I needed to grab onto anything within reach. I gave myself the nickname of the shirt grabber; I grabbed onto your therapists Samantha, Mathieu and Brodie many times. Thank you so much guys for putting up with my shirt grabbing! 😊

Now after doing PoNS Therapy, my whole world has opened up. My peripheral vision has returned. I had lost it in 2018 from not knowing that I had MS for five years. Also, I can multitask, like walking and talking at the same time, which is something I was unable to do. Back then, my balance was so bad that I had to focus on walking only.

My life is so much better now that my balance has improved. I am so glad that I did the 14-week PoNS Therapy program at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic! 😊

Learn more about our PoNS Therapy™

The Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic is proud to be Western Canada’s first clinic to offer PoNS Therapy™.

*Note: The PoNS™ device is authorized in Canada for use as a short-term treatment of chronic balance deficit due to mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury, mild and moderate symptoms from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and gait deficit due to mild and moderate symptoms from stroke, to be used in conjunction with physical therapy. The PoNS™ device is used off label under investigator supervision in this study. Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation is a method of non-invasive electrical stimulation to effect the vestibular system and potentially change balance, delivered using a research system limited to investigational use in this study.

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