Holding my life in my hands

Hanna O’Connell finally gets vital Orkambi

It's a little pink pill that means the world to Hanna O'Connell.

Little more than a year after Cystic Fibrosis (CF) campaigners mounted a massive protest outside Leinster House, Hanna finally has in her hands the object of their long fight: CF wonder drug Orkambi.

Already she is showing signs of improved lung function as a result of the drug she has been taking, two tablets a day, since Wednesday.

Mom Marisa was one of the hundreds who mounted the protest in Dublin in December 2016.

"They told us on Wednesday not to be surprised if Hanna began to cough up a lot of mucus, as it meant the drug was working. That's exactly what happened," Marisa told The Kerryman.

Until now, Marisa and husband Declan listened with alarm to their little trooper every time she coughed. As of last week, each cough likely represents improvement. "Already we can hear the difference in the morning. And getting it for her by the age of eight is just incredible as we never expected to get it before she turned 12. Tests show the drug reduces infections by 40 per cent and by getting it at this age it means she will avoid so much lung damage. Hanna turns eight this week and we simply could not have asked for a better birthday present," Marisa said.