Entertainment & Arts

BBC's Caroline Wyatt 'determined' after MS diagnosis

Caroline Wyatt
Image caption Wyatt has been at the BBC since the early 1990s

BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt has said she is determined to make the most of her life after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

In her first interview since revealing the news last week, Wyatt told the Radio Times: "It is what it is."

"I am not angry, and I don't want bitterness to start eating away at me."

One of the best known faces of BBC News, Wyatt recently stepped down as the corporation's religious affairs correspondent due to her condition.

'Incredibly blessed'

"I feel really sad now because I'm not going to be a correspondent full-time anymore - I physically can't."

Wyatt had been struggling with undiagnosed symptoms for 25 years but was only diagnosed with MS last July after she was paralysed down her left side.

Wyatt, who was also the BBC's defence correspondent, said she has had moments where she has questioned her own mortality.

"Reporting news is often about reporting death, particularly in the places I have been. But it's less terrifying to me to think of being blown up and dying than to think 'gosh, I might decline slowly day by day, losing a little bit of capability every day'."

At the moment, she is a bit unsteady on her feet and is struggling with her vision but still says she is "incredibly lucky and incredibly blessed".

She is currently on a long summer break but is hoping to return to radio broadcasting later in the year, along with covering the canonisation of Mother Teresa in Rome.


Multiple sclerosis

Image copyright Thinkstock

In MS the protective layer surrounding nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord - known as myelin - becomes damaged. The immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin, causing scarring or sclerosis.

The damaged myelin disrupts the nerve signals - rather like the short circuit caused by a frayed electrical cable.

If the process of inflammation and scarring is not treated then eventually the condition can cause permanent neurodegeneration.


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