Young cystic fibrosis sufferer Mandy Vella has publicly thanked the people of Malta for their support after her public campaign resulted in the Prime Minister pledging to procure a potentially life-saving medicine.
In a Facebook post, Mandy thanked everyone who supported her cause, from politicians to the health authorities, her friends and family, a social group of ex Air Malta employees, and the people of Malta.
“We’re truly a great people,” she said.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Robert Abela called up Mandy to inform her that Kaftrio, a crucial medicine to treat cystic fibrosis, will soon be made available on the government’s formulary list.
“Don’t worry Mandy, it’s the least we can do and it’s our obligation,” Abela told her.
“Have courage, because we won’t leave you alone. You have my word that the medicine will be provided. I’ll maintain direct contact with you with regards to the date the medicine will be available.”
Former Opposition leader Adrian Delia, who yesterday urged Abela to procure Kaftrio, publicly thanked the Prime Minister for his decision.
Cystic fibrosis impacts the cells which produce mucus, causing them to become thick and sticky and resulting in them blocking up tubes, ducts and passageways, particularly in the lungs and pancreas.
It’s a progressive illness that requires daily treatment to constantly remove mucus from the body.
However, hope for cystic fibrosis sufferers recently emerged through the drug Kaftrio (also known as Trikafta), which was approved for use by the European Medicines Agency last August.
Richard Hunter, a 37-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer, has spoken with Lovin Malta about how his life has changed since taking the drug last September.
“I look at my life as pre-Kaftrio and post-Kaftrio,” he told Lovin Malta. “I used to have to spend hours everyday doing chest physio exercises to clean the mucus out of my lungs but it was a hopeless cause because you can never clear it all out, and it would have returned by the time I’d wake up. It was like trying to save a sinking ship.”
“Within the first 24 hours after taking Kaftrio, I coughed up more mucus than I ever did in my life and within four days, my chest was cleared of mucus. I haven’t coughed up mucus since September.”