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‘I choose to thrive’: the man fighting motor neurone disease with cyborg technology

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August 16, 2020 at 10:00AM

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Peter B Scott-Morgan told me how harnessing technology will help him – and other people with extreme disabilities – live an enhanced life

In November 2017, Peter B Scott-Morgan received the news that almost nothing can prepare you for – he was told he had just two years to live. Peter had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND). It kills a third of those who have it within a year, rising to a half by the end of year two, with no known cure. Devastated as Peter was, he’d already decided this was negotiable. Fortunately, long before his own diagnosis, he had been fascinated by the idea of harnessing the power of modern technology to prolong human life.

Already a year had passed since his first symptoms had started appearing. After stepping out of the bath while on a trip to the Arctic Circle, he’d noticed that shaking the water from his feet as he emerged was suddenly and inexplicably out of his grasp. This was the earliest stage of the near-total paralysis that the condition would soon inflict on him. As the disease develops, messages sent from his brain and spinal cord would eventually stop reaching his muscles entirely – his body was failing him one piece at a time.

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