The toddler Antonis Andreou, who is battling a rare form of muscular atrophy which left him almost completely paralysed at eight months, has completed his experimental treatment in Boston and will be returning to Cyprus in the coming days.
“This great journey comes to an end tomorrow,” a Facebook post shared on his official page For Antonis With Love said on Sunday.
“We are coming to Cyprus full of knowledge, experience, strong feelings but also deeply moved about the family we are leaving behind us,” it added.
They also thanked the people who have helped them on their journey, “Our friend Anthos, the young scientist from Nicosia who lives and works in Boston and calls Antonis ‘titan’, Our guardian angel Eleni, from Larnaca who is a permanent resident of Boston. We will miss you family. Until we meet again.”
Antonis suffers from spinal muscular atrophy type 1 caused by a deficiency in a protein called SMN. When it appears in babies, the disease is categorised as type 1.
His family managed to raise enough funds in Cyprus to give the toddler a chance with a revolutionary treatment in Boston, where the family flew to in September.
He became the first patient from Cyprus to receive Zolgensma, the only known medication for the disease.
Last August President Nicos Anastasiades said the state would cover the cost of the treatment, which amounted to over €2 million.