An infant suffering from life-shortening spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has completed the first phase of her treatment at Makarios children’s hospital and has returned home, reports said on Monday.
Turkish Cypriot Asya Polatli, who is turning one year on Tuesday, is the first child to receive the treatment in Cyprus following a decision by the Republic to cover the €2m treatment with Zolgensma, a one-off gene therapy used to treat children with SMA less than two-years-old.
Her father, Ozan, was quoted by Kibris Postasi as saying a group of volunteers and supporters had organised a car procession with colourful balloons on Sunday in the neighbourhood where they live to celebrate the event.
The father said Asya must remain at home to protect her from viruses and potential complications they may create.
Polatli thanked Makarios hospital, President Nicos Anastasiades and all those who helped the family.
Asya was fully diagnosed with the illness at four months old while she was unable to move from the age of two months.
SMA is a group of hereditary diseases that progressively destroy motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord that control essential skeletal muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing, leading to muscle weakness and atrophy.