SYDNEY (AFP) - - An Australian stroke victim paralysed for more than 20 years has walked again thanks to anti-wrinkle drug botox, in a case hailed as extraordinary by his medical team.
Russell McPhee, 49, was confined to a wheelchair after suffering a severe stroke 23 years ago that left him so disabled that doctors initially told him he would never leave hospital.
But after being injected with botox, the anti-ageing treatment popular among Hollywood celebrities, McPhee can walk around his home unaided and travel up to 100 metres (330 feet) using a walking stick.
"I thought I was going to die in a wheelchair," McPhee told AFP.
The former meatworker admitted he and girlfriend Kerry Crossley were initially sceptical when told about the treatment.
"(Kerry) chipped in and said 'what, don't you think he's pretty enough?'" McPhee said.
Botox, or botulinum toxin, blocks the nerve signals which tell muscles to contract, flattening wrinkles when used on the face. But it can also help patients left immobile by brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, spinal problems or strokes.
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