WhilE politicians fight tooth and nail over the keys to Downing Street, patients such as Angela Paton face a true life-and-death battle.
WHILE politicians fight tooth and nail over the keys to Downing Street, patients such as Angela Paton face a true life-and-death battle.
At 41, she is one of the UK’s oldest survivors of the degenerative Morquio Syndrome.
This cruel condition causes serious problems including heart disease, skeletal abnormalities, vision and hearing loss, difficulty breathing – and early death.
Yet Angela, from Kippax, and fellow sufferers such as six-year-old Sam Brown from Otley, have been given a lifeline in the form of Vimizim – a “miracle” drug that has vastly improved their quality of life.
Yet appalling bureaucracy and red tape means the NHS has failed to reach a decision on whether or not it will keep funding the treatment. It means that for the last year, sufferers have had to rely on the goodwill of the drug’s manufacturer to give them the medication on compassionate grounds.
Now however the company is ending its free supply, leaving the likes of Angela and young Sam’s parents dreading the impact it will have on their health. It is a shameful state of affairs.
The NHS says a decision is coming and not every drug can be funded.
But to leave sufferers in a state of such tortuous limbo reveals bosses still lack the compassion they promised to enshrine in the health service in the wake of scandals such as that in Mid Staffordshire.
Smog is a wake-up call for the world
IT seems a long time ago that David Cameron was posing with huskies in Norway while seeing for himself the effects of global warming.
Environmental issues appear to have been forgotten by the main parties in the election campaign – but the high levels of air pollution which afflicted Leeds and other parts of Yorkshire yesterday showed why they are still all too relevant.
Although this latest scare was blamed on dust particles from the Sahara desert, pollution is on the increase in our towns and cities and yesterday’s smog was a wake-up call we cannot afford to ignore.