Health

Woman who announced on live TV she was going to Dignitas clinic finds life-changing drug for cystic fibrosis

A WOMAN with cystic fibrosis who spoke about plans to end her life live on This Morning has been given a miracle drug. 

Jennie Thornton, 40, who has suffered since she was a baby was given a new lease of life when she became one of 120 sufferers in the UK to be granted access to a new drug called Kaftrio in March.

Rex Features

Jennie Thornton appeared on This Morning in December 2013 talking about her plans to end her life[/caption]

Rex Features

Jennies mum Debby made the decision to help end her terminally ill daughter’s life at the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland[/caption]

The disease kills half of suffers before they reach 40 and when COVID struck Jennie was in a wheelchair with only 30% lung function.

Speaking to The Mirror, Jennie said: “I knew I was on the list for the drug and when it arrived in March I tried not to get my hopes up.

“But the results were almost instantaneous. All my family sat with me in the garden when I took my first pill at 10.30am on a Saturday morning.

“By 4.30pm the cough I’ve lived with all my life had eased. In two weeks my lung function had shot up to 60%, I gained 10lb and no longer felt breathless and exhausted. In short, I don’t feel like I’m dying any more.”

She also noticed that the salty skin characterising CF sufferers had ­disappeared. Four decades of pain had lifted from her shoulders.

Kaftrio, called Trikafta in the US, is now licensed for use by the NHS and offers hope to thousands of CF sufferers.

The genetic degenerative disease causes the body to produce a thick, sticky mucus that affects the lungs or digestive system. Sufferers eventually die from lung collapse or organ failure.

In 2013 Jennie spoke about her plan to attend Dignitas in an interview on This Morning.

Speaking about life as the pandemic approached, Jennie said: “I was in and out of hospital and in a very dark place as I confronted my very limited life expectancy in the face of a global health pandemic.”

“It sounds bleak, but I resigned myself to the worst. I told my family that should I contract Covid-19 I did not want to go on to a ventilator and cling to life.”

“I’ve been given my life back. I’m euphoric. I began to realise that I am laughing all the time. Throughout my life I’ve suppressed laughing, as it took up too much lung function. Now I laugh all the time. I feel reborn.”

A life dominated by endless hospital appointments and a daily drug and physiotherapy regime has now been replaced with a new one.

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