A police officer whose life was blighted by gastric reflux for 18 years has had his life transformed by magnetic beads.

Russell Theobald, from Maldon, has suffered gastric oesophageal reflux disorder since he was about 20 and had it fairly well-controlled with proton pump inhibitors, until the condition worsened about two-and-a-half years ago.

Mr Theobald, 39, said: “I had some superficial ulceration but then my doctor told me there was a likelihood of cancer if it carried on."

He has now been fitted with a LINX Reflux Management System, a flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads.

The magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep the weak oesophageal sphincter closed to prevent reflux.