One year on: 8-year-old Sam McKie like 'a totally different boy' since getting life changing spinal atrophy treatment

Sam McKie

It is a year since a boy from North Tyneside became one of the first children in the country to have potentially life changing treatment to help him walk again.  

Eight year old Sam McKie's has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. His family campaigned for the drug Spinraza to be made available on the NHS.

We spoke to Sam and his dad Gary - who says it has made a huge difference:

What is spinal muscular atrophy?

The condition affects the nerves in the spinal cord, making muscles weaker and causing problems with movement, breathing and swallowing.

Where it develops in babies and toddlers, it can significantly reduce life expectancy.

Between 600 and 1,200 children and adults are currently living with the condition in England and Wales.

In May, the health watchdog NICE announced that Nusinersen, also called Spinraza, had been approved for patients of Muscular Atrophy to receive the treatment on the NHS.

Our reporter Katie Cole went to the hospital in Newcastle last year, where Sam had his first round of treatment.