4 Things You Should Know About Returning To Work After MS Diagnosis


Sam Harrell

North Texan football coach Sam Harrell was 55-years-old and at the prime of his life and career as a high school football coach when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Harrell went from coaching a team to 4A state championships (in 2000, 2001 and 2004) to walking with a limp to having to use a golf cart when he coached .

"It went really fast. [From] 2005 to 2010, I went from 'you can’t tell anything, but you have it' to 'now you can't even walk," he told NBCDF.com.

By 2010, five years after his diagnosis, Harrell was forced to retire.

What followed next was a series of tests, weighing of options and finally a decision: a stem cell therapy that had yet to be approved by the FDA but was available in the Stem Cell Institute Panama. With a GoFundMe campaign set up, Harrell was able to afford the procedure, and after two failed attempts, a third finally provided the relief he was looking for.

Following the procedure, Harrell was able to "[lift] his leg. Then he could keep himself from falling. Then he could walk to the mailbox."

And finally, Harrell was able to return to work as the offensive coordinator at Fort Worth Christian School. Not only did he return to work, but in 2015, he helped his team to the first state championship in more than 20 years.

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