Natalia was diagnosed at 18 months old through an admission at Royal Bolton Hospital, after admission with a lung infection. From then, because she is pancreatic insufficient, she's had to take tablets with everything she eats as she cannot digest any fat. She takes a mix of antibiotics and drugs twice a day. She has been in and out of Manchester Children's Hospital much of her life on the cystic fibrosis ward and therefore missed a lot of her schooling. However, she still managed to pass most of her GCSEs.
At the age of 15 she contracted the bug mycobacterium abscessus and was hospitalised every ten weeks for 3 weeks at a time in isolation as c.f. children can't mix due to cross infection. At that point she was having five infusions a day. She has to endure a very strict routine of physiotherapy twice daily, sometimes 3 times, to try to prevent sticky mucous from clogging up her lungs and causing infections. She also uses nebulisers every day.
This is a massive burden on a teenager but she adheres to the regime strictly. Cystic fibrosis obviously impacts on her breathing when she is unwell and she can be very tired at times. She also has c.f. related liver disease which she takes medication for. However, to look at her you would never imagine what she has been through or what she needs to comply with to stay well. Cystic fibrosis is a progressive disease with a life limiting prognosis but Natalia does her best to stay cheerful and happy. Natalia has now been transferred to Wythenshawe c.f. unit where she has recently been admitted with pneumonia.
She is studying at college. Natalia is aware she has a life limiting illness but tries not to dwell on it and just gets on with all her treatments every day.