A woman with cystic fibrosis has made an emotional plea to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon begging her “please don’t let us die”.
Kelli Gallacher is fighting for drugs which could help suffers combat the cruel condition but which have been ruled too expensive by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.
The 24-year-old from Bonhill, West Dunbartonshire, wrote a heartbreaking letter to the First Minister begging her to intervene.
Kelli asked Nicola Sturgeon to try “holding your nose and breathing through a straw for 60 seconds” to understand how she feels every day.
Campaigners have been calling for wonder drug Orkambi to be given to all CF patients who need it -- including Kelli who is not expected to live past the age of 31.
Kelli, who dreams of running her own Highland dance school, wrote: “I deserve a future and these new drugs could help me achieve this.
“I deserve a future like anyone else.”
Kellie, who takes daily medication and undergoes physio to manage her CF said she found it difficult to find the words for the letter.
She said: “It took me a while, I am not a negative person.
“To have the drugs would mean just to have more of a life.
“On a bad day I can’t get off the couch, I’m coughing non stop.
“I just want to be able to have peace and reach my goals - I want everybody to have that.
“I think it’s a brave thing I’m doing, I have had great support.
“If I can do it, someone else out there can share their story too.
“The more stories the better for the campaign.”
Proud mum Maggie said the Scottish Government “have the chance to do something extraordinary to save lives.”
Dumbarton’s MSP Jackie Baillie is also supporting the family in their campaign.
Ms Baillie said: “If we can stop people like Kelli from dying, then surely we should do exactly that.
“I am very disappointed that the health secretary has refused to meet a cross-party group of MSPs.
“But I do hope the First Minister will respond compassionately to Kelli’s heartfelt plea.”
Kelli will now meet health secretary Shona Robinson later this month who has thanked Kelli for her letter bringing attention to the important issue.
Ms Robinson said: “I strongly encourage Vertex to submit fresh applications for Orkambi to the Scottish Medicines Consortium, at a price that is fair.
“Decisions made by the Scottish Medicines Consortium are independent of ministers and parliament.
“However, we have significantly improved access to new medicines in recent years as a result of our investment and reforms.
“These include the introduction of a new system for doctors, on behalf of individual patients, to access licensed treatments not yet generally available on the NHS in Scotland.”