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Flight Disruption Means Medication Shortage For Sophie, 23

April 21, 2010

Stranded in Malaysia after her flight home was cancelled, Sophie Longton is running short of medication and her health is worsening.

Sophie, who has cystic fibrosis, says her stock of drugs is dwindling and she has started to cough up blood.

“That is a sure sign that I have an infection, but I am still relatively well,” she told the BBC.

“My medication is starting to run out and without it I will get poorly within days. I am getting very worried.”

Sophie, aged 23, an academic mentor in a school in Accrington, has been designated as a priority case for a flight back to the UK.

I need the drugs to thin the mucus in my lungs and antibiotics to fight infection
Sophie Longton, who has cystic fibrosis

She had been told she would not get home before May 6, but is hoping that as air restrictions have now been lifted she might squeeze on an earlier flight.

She contacted her doctors at Wythenshaw Hospital, Manchester, UK, who have promised to fly her some extra supplies from Australia, as the drugs are not available in Malaysia.

They also warned her that if she gets sick and cannot fly home she should try to get to nearby Singapore for treatment and then on to Australia.

Sophie takes around 40 tablets a day to treat her condition and uses five nebulisers.

“I need the drugs to thin the mucus in my lungs and antibiotics to fight infection,” she said.

Sophie, who was on a family holiday in Bali, flew with her mum to Kuala Lumpur to try to get home, but has been stranded there for four days.

A Department of Health spokesperson said their advice to stranded Britons is to contact local pharmacies, hospitals or doctors if they run out of medication.

“If you are admitted to hospital, contact the British Embassy,” the spokesperson said.

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