After returning from my lunch break yesterday there was a newspaper spread across my desk. Not just any newspaper – The Sun – and it was open on a health spread with pictures of a karate kid. While I was intrigued, by the end of the day I still hadn’t had a minute to read it. I kept glancing at it until my colleague, the mother of the child with congenital myasthenia, came over to explain.
Jimmy Webster is an 18-year-old Oxford University student who has congenital myasthenia. He couldn’t walk until 18 months ago when he began taking the asthma drug, found in blue reliever inhalers, salbutamol. Now he’s able to do all the things he missed out on as a young teenager like go to gigs and has even gained a black belt in karate. Truly inspiring stuff.
Jimmy was part of a trial at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford – in case you’ve not heard about this facility, it is the leading place in the UK for myasthenia treatment. I’ve yet to visit but I do intend to within this year so I can see what all the fuss is about.
While the Sun will have taken it’s own approach to this story, what it shows is the incredible impact the right drug , and the right specialist to advise he right drug, can have. This is only a snippet of Jimmy’s story – just a moment in his life – but what a moment it must have been when he was able to take those first few steps.