'This building will keep us alive longer'
However, there are still issues we need to keep an eye on, while access to care needs to increase across the State so all people with CF can be assured of a better future.
We have always needed 34 beds to deal with the amount of people with CF who attend Vincent's. We have been given 20 and last May the hospital promised there would be others available if needed.
A nightmare scenario would be requiring admission and having to go through A&E to a mixed ward when the CF unit is running. It could be a possibility if promises are defaulted on, but hopefully that won't be the case.
As it stands, the agreement is that people with CF will only be in the main hospital if none of the 100 cubicles in the new building is free. If this happens, once one becomes available they will be transferred immediately.
The new reality, as long as the hospital keeps its promise, means there will be no fear. There will be no fear of A&E, no fear of being treated by staff who are not trained in our area - a challenge for staff and patients alike. It means going directly into a room for treatment instead of staying at home and becoming sicker for fear of picking up a potentially deadly infection on mixed wards.
It means easing of the psychological burden that comes with sharing with patients who are sometimes senile and very unwell, and the knowledge that the facilities we now have match the superb standard of care we are given.
This facility will change the way people with CF receive care and will ensure the next generation of patients moving from children's hospitals will never need to experience what we have. The very existence of this building symbolises hope for the future and the ability we have to change our prescribed paths in life.
As much as a building can, it protects the future so that all energies can be focused on living and succeeding in whatever walk of life chosen despite this illness and not having to fight on all levels in order to survive.
Thank you to everyone who has poured their hearts into this. We are finally here.