Baillieston man with cystic fibrosis following his dream thanks to ‘miracle drug’

A young Baillieston man with cystic fibrosis (CF) is able to follow his dream of becoming a chef thanks to care being provided by at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC).

Sean Breslin (28) who has lived with the illness his whole life, has been receiving care at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and has recently been prescribed Kaftrio, which is considered a game-changing CF treatment.

As the first health board in Scotland to offer Kaftrio as part of its overall CF care, Sean is now one of 253 adults within NHSGGC to benefit from the treatment.

Living the dream

Thanks to the multi-disciplinary care Sean benefits from at the QEUH, he is well on his way to fulfilling his dream of becoming a fully-fledged chef – an outlook that previously looked less promising.

Sean Breslin, left, working as a chef.Sean Breslin, left, working as a chef.
Sean Breslin, left, working as a chef.

Now, working as a line cook at a popular Glasgow venue, Sean regularly works full-time shifts and hopes with the addition of Kaftrio, he’ll be able to focus all his energy on the kitchen and working his way up the culinary ladder.

While some CF patients can find themselves in hospital multiple times per year, Sean has closely followed care plans from a team of highly specialist dietitians, physios, pharmacists, nurses and doctors which means he very rarely has a CF episode or flare-up.

Now having been on Kaftrio treatment for a week, Sean is far more optimistic about the future.

He said: “I’ve been a fishmonger, a truck driver and a bus driver, but my passion has always been food, and I always knew I’d find my way into a kitchen for a living. The care I’ve received here at the QEUH is second to none, and while I’m very fortunate to have a milder form of CF, the team has always been there to look after me, guide me and ensure that I get the best treatment available.

“I’m very lucky to qualify for Kaftrio which is having an amazing impact on patients in Scotland. Without it, wards would be full of CF patients. I’ve only just started taking it but I can already feel my breathing is better. My chest feels much clearer and I hope to be back at work very soon.

“The drug has given me much more hope for the future, and for living a fuller life without having to worry too much about the CF. It will always be present, but hopefully, now it will take much more of a back seat in my day-to-day.”

What is cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition in which the lungs and the digestive system can become clogged with thick, sticky mucus.

Kaftrio, which was made available to patients in Scotland in August 2020, helps a protein, which is normally defective in people with CF, work more effectively and improves lung function and overall wellbeing.

‘Greatly benefitted’

Consultant physician at the QEUH, Prof Gordon MacGregor, said: “Sean is a good example of someone who has greatly benefited from Kaftrio.

“We hope that along with his other treatments such as physiotherapy, diet management, and medication, he should be able to live a long and healthy life. The new drugs have had an amazing impact for people with CF and there are more drugs in the research phase which may help even more.

“Living with a condition like CF, there will naturally be times where Sean needs to spend time as an in-patient, but we’re hopeful that these occasions will be much fewer, meaning that he will be able to spend less time managing his CF, and focussing more energy on becoming the next master chef!”

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