A JOCKEY who said he was the 'sick kid' of racing has opened up on how a miracle drug transformed his life.
Australian rider Harry Coffey was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just six weeks old.
The genetic disease clogs up the lungs and makes sufferers more vulnerable to illness.
As a child, Coffey would spend a week in hospital every year while his vulnerabe body was checked by doctors to make sure all was OK.
Despite the at-times debilitating condition, Coffey, 28, has gone onto record an incredible 821 career wins and almost £15million in prize money as a top rider.
And he was a regular in the winners' enclosure until the Covid pandemic forced him into isolation.
Coffey says now that, ironically, racing was the safest place to be because the protocols were so strict 'not many actually got Covid'.
But he did the right thing in shutting himself away until given the OK to ride again.
He has made up for lost time since – but always in the background was cystic fibrosis and the pressures of living with it… until now.
Coffey told The Age how a new drug has totally changed his life.
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Trikafta tricks Coffey's body into thinking it has a gene CTFR that he is actually missing.
Coffey said: "It’s two tablets in the morning and a tablet at night, and it’s an absolute game-changer.
"I wouldn’t be able to do the workload that I am currently doing if I was not as healthy as what I am now.
"After most races, I would need to clear my airways with a cough and I would come back in quite fatigued and short of breath.
"Now I’m feeling a lot better, not short of breath.
"You would have noticed in a lot of my interviews, say two or three years ago, I would have been heaving and quite red in the face and fatigued.
"Whereas now my recovery instantly after a race is a lot better. That’s been the biggest difference.
"My quality of life is a lot better at home too.
"I’d wake up in the middle of the night coughing, needing to clear your airways.
"Now I get a better sleep, and just getting up and doing things has become a lot easier with being healthy because I’ve got more energy to do normal people stuff."
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That includes looking after new five-month-old baby Thomas with wife Tayla.
If only his miracle pill cured sleepless nights as well.
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