Nurse could die waiting for wonder drug to be provided by NHS – despite it being available in Scotland
- Credit: Archant
She has spent her life working as a nurse to help sick and vulnerable people.
But Madeleine Stockley could have just weeks to live unless a new treatment for her rare lung condition becomes available on the NHS.
Madeleine, who lives in Rush Green Road, Romford, suffers from chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), a respiratory disease in which blood clots block off arteries to the lungs.
Last Thursday she was told by doctors at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, her medication was no longer working and the condition was terminal, with her only hope being a new drug called riociguat.
But despite being approved for use in the UK, and earmarked to be prescribed on the NHS, the treatment is not yet available – but is available in Scotland.
Her friends and family have launched a last-ditch campaign to raise money to try and buy the drug privately.
The 65-year-old, who has worked as a nurse across Havering and Barking and Dagenham since she was 18, said: “I’m very humbled by the campaign.
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“I’ve worked all my life for the health service, I love my job and I love this country.
“I don’t want anything I’m not entitled to, I just want a chance to live.
“I’ve got two baby grandsons, they are the light of my life.”
Madeleine added: “I refuse to see myself as being terminal – we are all terminal.”
The mother of three’s condition means rather than gradually deteriorating over time, she could die without warning.
Last January, she underwent a gruelling 10-hour operation called a pulmonary endarterectomy to remove clots and scar tissue from her lungs, but it was not a success.
“To find out it hadn’t worked was devastating,” she said.
Best friend Patricia Montague, who met Madeleine when they trained as nurses together at Harold Wood hospital four decades ago, said she would move to Scotland if it meant getting the treatment.
“She’s given her life to the health service and been my friend for 40 years. I can’t sit here watching my best friend die, I have to do something.”
The drug, produced by the company Bayer HealthCare under the brand name Adempas, has been available for CTEPH patients on the NHS in Scotland since December 2014.
NHS England said the start date for funding the drug here was July 2 this year, and it is now down to hospitals to have arrangements in place for patients to access the treatment.
The Royal Free Hospital, where Madeleine is being treated, said it expected the drug to be available at the end of August.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said: “The drug riociguat is currently going through the approval process, which all new drugs must undergo before they can be prescribed by our doctors.”
But Madeleine said she had been told consistently the drug would be made available, only for there to be more delays.
To make a donation to the Saving Madeleine campaign, go to indiegogo.com/projects/saving-madeleine