Young CF sufferer pens a moving plea to the PM

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Young CF sufferer pens a moving plea to the PM thumbnailZona Armstrong, a Year seven pupil at Gibson Primary School, Omagh, writing a letter, which has since been sent to the Prime Minster, Mrs Theresa May, pictured with her teacher, Mrs Wendy Irwin

An Omagh schoolgirl suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has penned a poignant letter to the Prime Minister asking for new precision medicines that could prolong and enhance her life to be made available on the National Health Service.

Zona Armstrong - a primary seven pupil at Gibson Primary School - was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of six-weeks-old, a debilitating and life-shortening condition that seriously impacts quality of life.

Her plea has been backed by Castlederg charity fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Liam McHugh, who has been campaigning for improved medicines for the condition for the past 26 years. His efforts recently passed the 200,000 mark - an amazing achievement. He has called on everyone to get behind Zona and write to the Prime Minister at any opportunity they could get to let her know what was needed.


Over the last two years Zona's health has deteriorated, and she needs to be admitted every three to four months at the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children to help keep her infections controlled.

In the same period Zona's physical activity has declined. She suffers from severe fatigue and her high dose of medication and treatment leaves her feeling sick. She takes 30 pills a day, and requires five nebulised treatments and intense physiotherapy to help keep her chest clear. Her lung functions currently sit at 79 per cent.

Earlier this year Zona posted a moving video posted to social media, explaining how the condition has prevented her from playing on her school's sport teams and spoke of her fears if she fails to obtain the Orkambi drug which helps to increase lung function, but is deemed too expensive by the health advisory body NICE.


Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution...


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