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Commando Mac’s medical miracle to feature in new primetime ITV documentary


The inspirational story of a Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital patient who became trapped in a body which shakes uncontrollably is to feature in a flagship new ITV documentary next week [THURSDAY MAY 5TH].


Retired Royal Marine and Falklands veteran James ‘Mac’ MacGregor, aged 68 from Woodbury in Devon, has battled increasingly violent tremors in his body for the past five years after suffering a fit while travelling around Europe with his wife Chez in 2007.


Over time the tremors have steadily taken over his body from head to toe and made it increasingly difficult for Mac - previously an active sportsman and an elite Arctic warfare specialist in the Royal Marines – to enjoy even a basic quality of life.


Mac and his RD&E neurological consultant Dr Tim Harrower began working through various treatments to try and combat his symptoms. But despite a huge amount of effort from both Mac and Dr Harrower, Mac’s tremors gradually worsened. It was then that Dr Harrower set in motion the ambitious plan that would lead to Mac’s miraculous brain surgery.


The programme follows Mac’s emotional journey in the weeks leading up to his life-changing ‘Deep Brain Stimulation’ operation by neurosurgeon Professor Steven Gill at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.


The highly invasive operation involved making a 3D map of Mac’s brain and inserting electrodes deep inside with millimetre precision. These are then connected to an electrical device embedded in Mac’s chest and when this special technology is switched on, it changes the brain’s electrical signals to Mac’s body - with dramatic results.


The programme, presented by Emma Willis, captures Mac’s courage and resilience as he starts his heroic fightback against the condition that has plagued his life night and day for the past three years.

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