The father of two, who was diagnosed with CF when he was a child, says: “I don’t view the time spent at the hospital for the research trial as time lost, but very much as an investment in gaining more time if my quality of life is maintained for as long as possible. I have felt so much better since being on this trial and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to participate in it.”
Stuart said: “The impact so far of the trial has been really significant. You become accustomed to living within the constraints of your health, but I now have more energy and can focus on enjoying life rather than staying well. Feeling ill can make you a bit grumpy and impatient. Taking part in a trial has given some power or control back to me. I am no longer passive and just accepting what my health determines. Research has opened up a whole new path to me – optimism, hope.”
It is testimony to his trust and respect for his respiratory consultant Dr Nick Withers and the team at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital that Stuart has continued to receive his treatment in Exeter long after re-locating to Bristol.
Stuart added: “It was some time in advance that Dr Withers said he had me in mind for a research trial so it came as no surprise when I was offered the opportunity to take part in a study. I know the team looking after me has my best interests at heart and I cannot fault the enhanced level of care and support I receive as a direct consequence of being on this trial.”
Stuart, aged 44, says he is fortunate to have in cricket charity 'Chance to Shine' a forward-thinking employer, and he has been able to fit the clinic appointments around work commitments. He commented: “They recognise I will be more productive if I can stay fit.”
He is passionate about sport and in recent years has not been fit enough to play, but Stuart is hopeful he may be wearing his cricket whites this summer, or at the very least being more active with his family in the garden!