At the age of 53, Colin Jackson looks every inch the super-fit Olympian but the sporting icon’s winning smile hides a world of pain.
The 110m hurdling hero who is currently appearing in ITV’s Dancing on Ice, has been left with the knees of an eighty year old. Colin’s glittering career left him with extensive damage to his kneecaps, cartilage, ligaments and tendons and he also has a degenerative condition which affects his daily routine.
The former world record holder is in constant pain, struggles to get out of bed and in and out of the car and fears he could even end up in a wheelchair.
Colin now faces an even bigger hurdle – stem cell therapy to repair his damaged knees.
Colin says the treatment is “the last roll of the dice” to avoid knee replacement surgery.
“I’m in constant pain but you learn to live it with it,” says the 1988 Olympic silver medallist and former World Champion hurdler.
“I’ve got the body of a man in his mid-30s but the knees of a man in his mid-80s. I’ve had seven operations on my knees already – four on the right knee and three on the left knee.
“I just can’t face any more. My knees lock up after long car journeys, and getting in and out of the bath is awkward. It takes me ages to get going in the morning.”
Colin needs to do a string of warm-up exercises every morning and takes paracetamol and ibuprofen. He is pinning all his hopes on pioneering stem cell therapy from Harley Street Stem Cell Clinic and says he’s “praying for a miracle”.
As part of his treatment, the BBC athletics commentator will have one million stem cells injected into each knee and more cells delivered afterwards via an IV drip.
The first session to prepare his body for the jabs will take place at Harley Street Stem Cell Clinic in London next week.
Colin is being treated by regenerative medicine expert and author of the book ‘Turn Back Time’, Dr Aamer Khan, who has specialised in the remarkable therapy since 2009.
Dr Khan said: “Human stem cells are able to develop into different cell types that can be used to replace damaged tissue all over the body. They can drastically improve an individual’s overall quality of life by reducing pain.
“Colin’s condition will get worse if untreated and joint replacement is a real possibility if the therapy doesn’t work.” If it does, however, Colin could feel improvements in just four weeks – and the full benefit after 12.”