The BBC’s Caroline Wyatt has spoken for the first time about her battle with multiple sclerosis.
The religious affairs correspondent has had to quit her job because of the advance of the cruelly destructive neurological condition.
Wyatt, 49, admits in the latest issue of Radio Times magazine to being scared by the rate at which the disease is attacking her. She’s currently using a stick to help her walk and is worried about losing her sight.
“Every day you wake up you feel different. Some days you feel relatively normal other days your brain is so foggy you can’t think,” she said in an interview in this week’s issue. “You forget words, you forget names. It’s that absolute sense that your body is betraying you. That you are not in control of it, it is in control of you. I am hoping that at some stage I will get back to walking without the stick. But maybe I am in denial.”
Caroline Wyatt as defence correspondent before becoming the BBC’s religious correspondent
She had her worst moment a month ago, she explained: “I woke up with double vision and I sat on the edge of the bed and thought, ‘Good grief, if I don’t save my sight and do something fairly radical about the way that I’m living, then it is actually entirely possible I will lose my sight, and if I lose my sight I won’t be able to do all the other things I want to do in life. It was a really quite bleak moment, where for the very first time I sat down and looked it in the face and thought, ‘Bugger.’”
Wyatt, who was the BBC’s defence correspondent for seven years before the condition persuaded her to switch to religious affairs in 2014, believes she may have had it for 25 years.
But now, for the first time, she’s following doctors’ advice and taking a career break, though hopes to return to the BBC in the autumn to do some radio work.
“I am incredibly lucky and incredibly blessed. I do, by nature, have quite an optimistic disposition. I always hope for the best but if the worst happens, just deal with it.”
Radio Times has had numerous letters wishing Wyatt well, including one published in this week’s issue which called her “one of the best” correspondents working at the BBC.
Read the full interview with Caroline Wyatt in this week’s Radio Times, available in store and on the Apple Newsstand from Tuesday 21st June.