Parents of South Tyneside youngster say her cystic fibrosis has improved since she started Orkambi treatment
A young cystic fibrosis sufferer is doing well and feeling ‘more energetic’ after finally receiving the wonder drug.
Jarrow schoolgirl Harriet Corr, five, was diagnosed with the condition, which causes sticky mucus to form in the lungs, at just five days old.
They had considered moving to Scotland for access to the drug.
In October 2019, Health Secretary Matt Hancock held talks with Vertex bosses and agreed a deal that could change the life of St Matthew’s Primary pupil Harriet and around 5,000 other sufferers. She received her first dose 10 weeks ago.
Previously, Harriet took a daily cocktail of drugs and Emma and Chris, who are also parents to Nancy, eight, are thrilled with Harriet’s progress.
English teacher Emma said: “She’s doing really well. We’ve noticed subtle differences in terms of her CF. It didn’t change things overnight, but we’re starting to see improvements.
“For the last four years, every couple of weeks we’d be up for two or three nights because she would be coughing. Touch wood, that hasn’t happened since she started the Orkambi. It was just the most tortuous cycle.
“I asked the specialist if it was possibly coincidence and he said ‘Emma, it can’t be.’
“It’s just amazing really. It was the worst thing to go through. It would be every two or three weeks, then it would settle down. We’d be exhausted after being up all night.
“Twice a day she takes a sachet of powder and she’s starting to benefit. We haven’t had the need to give her any extra antibiotics.
“She’s absolutely loving being at school. She’s more energetic now and not up all night coughing. We’re delighted.”
Unfortunately, Harriet’s condition means the family has been officially instructed to begin a 12-week isolation period.
Emma added: “We got an official text on March 23 saying that because she’s categorised as vulnerable, we would have to isolate for 12 weeks. We’d already been self-isolating for a week anyway.”
But the Corrs are able to take each problem in their stride.