“If you know you have hepatitis C, go and see your consultant. There is nothing more important than saving your life. What’s great is that there is finally hope for people that haven’t had any before.”
“I’ve been given the opportunity of life”
There are many hep C stories out there. This is Colin and Di’s.
Colin: “I’m Colin…”
Diane: “…and I’m Diane, his wife…”
Colin: “…and we’re here to talk about me contracting hep C and being cured of hep C. My diagnosis was originally in Spain and then onto a specialist in the UK, who told me I had five years life expectancy”
Diane: “Hepatitis was something that I know absolutely nothing about, so we went back home and looked it up on Google. That was the extent of our knowledge, we were that lacking in knowledge at that time. We looked it up and thought, oh, that’s what it is then is it”
Colin: “I didn’t feel particularly ill at the time. I went on doing things, I started working for, with drug and alcohol people, I worked in other things, like youth offending and stuff like that. January 2014, I was feeling really weak and my skin was really very itchy. I would get up and have showers at three o’clock in the morning because my skin was driving me mad. I went and saw my specialist on my regular six monthly thing and he said to me that I had about eighteen months left to live, which was…”
Diane: “… horrible”
Colin: “It was just like, that happens to other people, because I wasn’t in my head, I was not severely ill, that death was eighteen months away”
Diane: “Five years is a long time, eighteen months isn’t. I was watching the television, news, and there was a story about a man who had been cured of hep C, by a trial drug, and I remember and I got my… and it said about the name of it and it showed you the packet and I thought, oh, and I wrote the name down very quickly, very quickly, and I said to Colin when he came in, oh my goodness, there’s this drug and it can cure hep C so Colin thought, wow, and then so when you went to see Professor Alan…”
Colin: “I had my next appointment, so I went and saw him in January, the next appointment was August, and I went in and I had a list of all my good guy bits, you know…”
Diane: “…like, why you should be saved”
Colin: “…of why I should go on this trial… and I made this list really long, you know, and he eventually said to me, oh shut up he said, you’re going on it anyway, because I fitted into the category that they were looking for. I started taking the treatment, just the feeling in my skin, I knew something was on the mend, and then two weeks later and then they couldn’t find it”
Diane: “It was absolutely amazing because the viral load had been enormous, millions apparently, not that I actually know the medical… and when Colin came back and said it was 84… 84 what? 84, he said. 84? I thought, this is an amazing thing that they have actually found something that will cure an advanced case of hep C and I remember that you came home, do you remember, and he phoned the children and he couldn’t get the information out quick enough, and they were all, beside themselves, it was just excellent, absolutely excellent”
Colin: “Even today, it’s a very emotional thing for me, obviously, I mean, it’s my body”
Diane: “So if you’re in that sort of situation where possibly you may be susceptible to contracting it, if you get tested, you don’t have to let it fester on your liver for years and years, you can get it gone. To think that other people can go down the same road as we did, it would be brilliant, absolutely splendid”
Colin: “I’ve been given this opportunity of life. I just want to show people that I’m just an ordinary bloke, who used to use drugs, who now doesn’t and I’ve got it all together, and if I’ve got it all together, then so can anybody else”
Diane: “You know, we simply didn’t think he was going to be here so, yeah, it’s just great to have him here, even though I don’t tell him that very often”
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