A mum whose son is at a high risk of developing sudden blindness is urging people to sign a petition protesting an NHS decision to stop funding drug treatments.
Devoted Della Charnock, from nearby Wigan, Greater Manchester, is desperate to change a decision to scrap the treatments used to tackle uveitis – a disease her seven-year-old son Samuel is particularly vulnerable to.
Uveitis is the UK’s third most common cause of preventable sight loss and young Samuel is more likely to contract the disease because he has a severe form of juvenile arthritis.
Della, 41, is backing an online campaign at change.org which is demanding NHS England reverse a decision made on July, 2 to remove funding for two uveitis drugs, which help to reduce the effects of irreversible eye damage or even total blindness.
Della said: “Samuel’s at high risk of developing uveitis due to his arthritis but it affects other young people and adults as well.
“The government has decided it is not going to pay for these treatments which are known to be effective but why are they prepared to let adults and children go blind?”
“Samuel has screenings every three months and they are very strict about that but what if the screenings are also scrapped?
“It seems a waste of time going for them because they won’t give him anything if he does contract the disease.”
“I just want everyone to know about it and to back the petition. I think it’s too important to let it just fall by the wayside.
“I don’t know how they can deny people a drug that can save sight.”
Children charities have said that the decision to revoke the funding goes against clinical evidence and views of medical staff and creates a postcode lottery as the drugs will remain available in Scotland and Wales.
If the decision goes ahead, patients in England will have to find up to £10,000 per year for the drugs.