From The Times, 21 June 2016. Story by Kaya Burgess.
The BBC journalist Caroline Wyatt says that having multiple sclerosis diagnosed has made her regret putting her career before family.
Wyatt, 49, was the BBC religious affairs correspondent until last week, when she announced that she would be stepping down. She hopes to return to radio presenting in the autumn.
In her first interview about her condition Wyatt revealed her acute fear of going blind and said that she was committed to putting family life and friends before work.
“I realise now that I did live incredibly selfishly. I pursued my career because it was interesting,” she told Radio Times. “I wasn’t there for my ex-boyfriend’s birthday. I wasn’t there for Christmases and many other significant events. It’s made me realise that the really, really important things are your family and your close friends, so to a large degree it is reshaping my view of what really matters.”
Wyatt, who was BBC defence correspondent for seven years until 2014, had been treated for the chronic fatigue condition myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and scanned for a possible brain tumour before her condition was identified in July.
Describing her lowest moment since the diagnosis, she said:
“When I woke up with double vision about four weeks ago 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 entirely possible I will lose my sight and… I won’t be able to do all the other things I want to do in life. It was really quite a bleak moment.
Wyatt has been suffering from undiagnosed symptoms for about 25 years.
She has been using a stick to aid her walking and said: “
Neither my vision nor my balance are particularly good at the moment, so I am a bit cooped up at home. I don’t know what the future holds but I am determined to make the most of my life.”