Friday, September 25, 2020

A minute and a half Bacteriophage Promo!

Finally, after many months of hard work, we have something to show you :)  It's not much, but I have now got myself a Mac with iMovie and with the help of my brother learned the basics. Not quite the documentary I was after, but now that I am learning... that may come later! In the meantime to stimulate interest in Bacteriophages and make people Google the topic, ask their doctor and research their infection and bacteriophages we have this easy to digest clip!

What is very clear to me, and I knew this all along, that no matter how good the story is in your head, no matter how good a computer or tools you have, if you are not a documentary maker you can't just become one! Same with wannabe book authors, no matter how good a word processor, voice dictation, dictionary,... even with the best story you cannot become a successful author overnight. I have tried hard to find skilled people to help me do a documentary and use the footage and the story, but it is hard to find people to do it. So now I am trying to forge ahead myself in any case. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

What do we know

Time for me to remind people about phages. Phages would make a world of difference to me. Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic condition that amongst many issues brings about severe lung infections. People with CF typically live on permanent antibiotics and in the end require a lung transplant once their lungs have given in to infection. As you can imagine the side-effects of all the antibiotics is terrible, kidney damage, loss of hearing,... and the infections we fight hardly respond to any antibiotics. Yet doctors still admit us to hospitals for week on week of IV antibiotics at great expense to the State. Boy was I surprised when I learned about bacteriophages.

Turns out not even my doctor had heard about them, despite being widely and successfully used in the East-bloc countries for almost a century. Even researchers around the world, in defence organisations, and most universities study them, for human applications even, and our own Australian CSIRO dedicated an entire quarterly Biochemistry magazine to phages in human applications last year.  Phages are a very effective and very safe, and cheap alternative to antibiotics, and unlike antibiotics, no new ones need to be developed all the time because bacteriophages, phages for short, naturally occur in nature everywhere there are bacteria. In fact, there are 10x more phage types than there are bacteria in the world, we are full of them, as we are of bacteria. Out of the millions of types of bacteria, only a handful are dangerous to humans, no phages I have ever heard of harm humans.

So I went to Europe with my bestie Cindy to go and have a look at how phages were used. I took footage with a GoPro and took notes. Of course, we got stuck in the covid19 period which was another story...

Now I need to put it all together in a format that can be watched. Hopefully a 20-minute doco for Youtube I was thinking There are documentaries on phages that have been shown on SBS and US and European TV, but they all deal with miracle stories where people were on the brink of death and phages got them healed in a matter of days/weeks. I have come to realise that although that is totally correct, by the time you have permission to use experimental medicine and lined up the resources to isolate and prepare the relevant phages needed etc takes a tremendous amount of last-minute luck and coordination. Establishing the infrastructure for phage therapy to treat difficult antibiotic-resistant infections is not something that will happen overnight.

On my trip, I saw how people from other countries where phages are allowed, use them. None of them have that infrastructure either, though institutes exist where wealthy individuals can get treated privately. The whole world's medical system has switched to antibiotics it seems. So how are phages working in those countries now?

Simple, they have generic phage-based medicine that work for the less hardy but very common community infections, the kind we in the western world consult a doctor for and we get antibiotics prescribed. Our complaints usually go in a matter of days. In the poorer Eastbloc countries people buy cheap phage-based medicine and most of the time their symptoms go within days AND without having to consult a doctor and without being prescribed antibiotics.  We need this here, and Phage medicine is commercially produced in great quantities already, for millions of happy people, and has been in use for decades and decades without interactions or allergic reactions. Shouldn't we at least have the choice>

And what I have learned along the way as well is that over the past so many years phage-based antibacterial potions are already used in Western agriculture and aquaculture, and in food manufacturing, even sprayed on ready to eat foods, and what is more amazing to learn is that if the food is organic it still remains certifiably organic after the phage treatment is applied to stop people getting food infections from packaged foods.

And another thing, you cannot overdose on them either, they are auto-dosing, and are not listed on any poison schedule, they are allowed to be imported without special permission either from quarantine or customs, just need to be documented and produced commercially in a certified facility. ...  Well, hello people, why aren't we getting them here?

And this is the big problem, pharmaceutical companies would lose an enormous amount of business/revenue, and this is the only plausible reason I see for us not getting it in Western countries. Not only that, but there is also no money in it for them to develop it or market phages because as they are naturally occurring they cannot be patented... But society needs them now!!

I want to educate the world, educate the cystic fibrosis community, educate the doctors! I want a simple documentary to explain the above. I have almost all the material required. Just not the skill to put it all together, but I AM WORKING ON THAT :)  Never give up!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

We are Back

We are back, and completed 2 weeks of self isolation and even got tested for COVID-19!

As you may have noticed we left just prior to the COVID-19 emergency and returned in the midst of a world shut down. This did not make it easy for us to visit medical facilities and talk to people, however, we have some footage to show you and and have found out some remarkable information. I did not go to Europe to seek Phage Therapy treatment. But I was hoping to maybe get an offer, but that did not happen. But many people will benefit from what Cindy and I have found out. We had hoped to make a documentary, but we still have too little funding for a professional exercise, though we have enough good material to open up many eyes. I need to work on my video editing skills now and I say WATCH THIS SPACE (for a video in a few months). There is a full trip review coming up, but for now my conclusion is that;

Phage Therapy of the kind 

I need Individual Phage Therapy, the miracles of which we see in the media, documentaries and many credible sources, is surprisingly not what we all need right now. We need over the counter cheap phage-based medicine for general illness, for everyone. This will act as a filter to reduce doctor visits and antibiotic usage by what I conservatively believe would be a minimum of 50%. Though phage therapy on an individual level is ground-breaking and life-saving for those with hardy antibiotic resistant bacterial infections, it is not something that we can feasibly do in the near future. and we can start with using what is currently commercially manufactured and easily obtainable in some countries and allow that into Australia. Read on!

Medical tourism 

To have phage therapy for those difficult to fight antibiotic resistant infections (YES, we can treat them better than ever using bacteriophages), we would need phage libraries and phage labs. For that to happen in Australia not only do we need a legal framework in place to allow it, but we must then educate doctors, pharmacists, set up laboratories etc. This is expensive and time consuming - though significantly cheaper (and much more effective!) than developing new drugs. It is therefore unlikely that in the next decade this will become a common treatment for everyone. Even in Belgium, Poland, Georgia and Ukraine where phage therapy is allowed, the existing underfunded phage facilities only treat the most urgent cases. Or, for those who wish to just pay for it, just like any medical tourism anywhere, you can fly to Poland for phage therapy tailored to your infection for a few thousand dollars. Would you fly to Poland when you are so sick that western-based medicine is giving up on you? Probably not.

Reduce Antibiotic Overuse 

Do we want to fight antibiotic resistance now? Absolutely. What do we do when we get sick now? We go to the doctor and for anything bacterial we immediately get antibiotics prescribed. How about we go to the pharmacy first, skip the doctor and buy a medication that does not have any claims, except to say it is for prevention or treatment of various conditions, belly aches, coughs, sore throat, pain peeing, anything involving a handful of bacteria harmful to humans - the kind of bacteria you see mentioned on disinfectant or mouth gargle - and you see a doctor if the condition persists. You buy it for say $19.95 and try it. You can put the tablet under your tongue, or the solution on your skin, in your mouth, wound, apply it any way you wish, and the packaging claims it will not generally interfere with any other medications, no known side effects, no overdosing. Would you try that first? This is how phages are marketed where it is legal.

Consult a Doctor when pain persists 

What do we currently try before going to the doctor? We use painkillers and other medicine that mask the symptoms, like aspirin, Disprin, Tylenol, Paracetamol, antihistamines. But they do not stop the problem, they just help ease discomfort while your body heals naturally. All these over-the-counter potions have side effects, can be toxic, and none cure us. They all carry overdose warnings, contraindications, cannot be combined with certain medicine.

Let’s say half of us are cured with a simple over-the-counter phage medicine. Would that not free up doctors? Would that not prevent overuse of antibiotics? Yes it would. And that is how over-the-counter phage products are mainly used in countries where they are allowed to sell them. Some of these are even produced in Germany or Canada, many made in Georgia (the Eliava Institute there supplied all of the former USSR with phage medications), all are made in modern facilities, they all say much the same, with the most relevant warning being ‘do not use if solutions looks turbid’ and keep refrigerated. They come with inserts and are well documented and commonly used by millions of people already.

When can we have over-the-counter Phage medicine? 

We need to allow over-the-counter phage medicine. If you look at some of the useful links at the end of this paper, notice how Phage sprays on ready-to-eat foods doesn’t even effect their organic/biological classification in the USA, Australia and many western countries! These are the phages we are talking about for us! If they are approved for agriculture, aquaculture, food processing and packaging, even for spraying on ready to eat food in our western world why can we not have them ourselves? As soon as the TGA decides it is allowed we could be having these very important bacteriophages available at our pharmacies. Right now, we can get them mailed totally legally from overseas. They are not even on the poisons schedule. See this example

NOW I NEED TO WORK ON THE FULL REPORT AND ADD VIDEO CLIPS ETC... This is not easy for me, but working on it! Watch this space!

And YES, I have been trialing the phages O brought back and just yesterday had my lung function test and a sputum culture taken. The lung function test showed one of the highest lung function results I have seen for years, so I am super happy. Let's see what the lab says about my cultures. Obviously the phage meds were not specifically designed for my bacteria, so I do not expect eradication of anything. As with a 2 week hospitalization, the treatments that make me deaf and poison my system also don't eradicate the infection either!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Getting tested for COVID-19

Well, it's been a long time since my last update. Last I left you we were in Belgium when we decided the Coronavirus was putting an end to our bacteriophage efforts.

I was no longer coughing blood since I started taking the Ukrainian over the counter phages which had pseudomonas aeruginosa as one of their targeted bacteria.

We went to the Netherlands where we stayed with friends, and when the threat became too big we eventually booked an expensive hotel in my hometown of Noordwijk, seaside area of the Netherlands. We felt safe and secure for 3 nights and then decided to drive to the middle of Holland where there are lots of heaths and forests and we had another two nights in nature away from crowds before driving to Amsterdam for the final two nights prior to our flight home. In Amsterdam, we had a superb Hotel booked and paid for by sympathetic friends (!) where they served room service breakfast as by now cafes and restaurants had closed. Cindy and I rented bicycles and rode around a pretty empty Amsterdam, visiting many museums in quick succession - it's amazing how quickly you can ride past a museum if you don't go inside to look... Cindy managed to twist her ankle as she rushed off the road to make way for a police car with sirens. This was in front of the Torture Museum of all places.

Before our flight, we found the Amsterdam Bos and the Olympic rowing course where we walked for many kilometres in preparation for the long flight home.

Amsterdam airport, Schiphol, was very empty and the security still had to frisk me at very close & personal range not wearing a mask either. Pretty outraged I checked with his supervisor who said he was following protocol and that she would be doing the same in 15 minutes. I felt seriously at risk because he would have surely been infected in the past few days and could now be passing it on to anybody he was frisking like he frisked me. Apart from that, it wasn't too bad in Amsterdam and we got onto an empty flight to Abu Dhabi.

In Abu Dhabi, we went to a lounge to which one could pay for access and there I did my nebulising. The hundred-dollar access fee had scared most people and it was also in a disused terminal of the airport hence we felt very safe there. The $100 fee to get in included the towel for the shower a toothbrush a terrible razor and a very very limited choice of food and drinks, in fact not even a choice really - see below image. But we were safe.

The Abu Dhabi Sydney flight was jam-packed full with Australians returning, and arrived in Sydney at 6 in the morning we all got our flyer about 14-day self-isolation as we exited the plane. But clearly, self-isolation was not in effect until you actually got home. Forget about social distancing when exiting a crowded plane or going through customs it seems. Once at the domestic terminals where it was fairly quiet we faced cancelled and delayed flights as we made our way from Sydney to Melbourne to Devonport, arriving about 10 hours later. People in the queues were not keeping distance at all, staff and crew were also acting just as per normal as if there was no virus at all. Even in Devonport when a staff member asked if anybody had been overseas those half a dozen people were crowded around a small table filling in forms about their 14-day self-isolation...

Cindy and I had a car waiting for us and we drove to James Street where Ree had prepared the home for us and stocked it full of food. Ree had arranged with friends to stay at a beach house far away for the next 14 days to give Cindy and me a self-isolation place. Normally I live in a house with two or 3 others so this was great.

We arrived on Friday night and on Monday morning the mail brought me phage medicine from a Georgia contact.

Monday Cindy was also getting signs of a migraine, vomiting slight cough slight temperature and we eventually called the hotline who deemed us as not testable yet. Fortunately, within 24 hours we got a call to say that my cystic fibrosis was a deciding factor to get us tested. So on Wednesday, we drove out to the hospital with permission of the hotline.

Donning clean new clothing a fresh mask and plastic gloves and equipped with an antibacterial spray we headed outside the house. The testing clinic was pretty much empty and we were helped in a friendly and professional manner. Swabs were taken and we will be notified in a day or two they said.

In the meantime, I started taking the Georgian over the counter phage against pseudomonas aeruginosa and tonight I'm starting with an inhaled colistimethate sodium nebulizer antibiotic treatment as well. Wouldn't it be great if my lung function was better after 14 days of self-isolation with these new phage medications! The walks around the house certainly wouldn't have been enough to qualify as exercise, but it's the least I can do.

And just as an interesting note, on the flight between Sydney and Melbourne was a young family from overseas where the woman was crying in tears telling the crew to keep their distance from her. She was screaming and saying nobody is paying attention to the safe space requirements, not even the crew. The hostess was trying to offer her tea and asking her to calm down as she was screaming 'get away from me, step back'..., which the hostess was just not understanding until the husband sternly said please leave her alone. This is exactly how I felt for 12 hours, and I can assure you I am not fussy about a few inches here or there, and still regularly touch and scratch my face accidentally. If we caught the virus we caught it between Amsterdam and Devonport.

Fingers crossed we are all safe and I'll get back to you all when we get the results back.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Belgium phage impressions

Coming back from the Ukraine I managed to cough up blood at the border and again when walking back to the hotel in Krakow.

Reunited with Cindy we decided best course of action is to start this phage medicine from the Ukraine and catch the next flight to Brussels where I have Medicare reciprocal rights and can see doctors.

The security queue at Krakow was a mile long, a COVID19 smorgasbord where we tried to maintain distance between people... Well,... Anyways, we got to Brussels via Stockholm and a few hours delay, walked to our AirBnB near the airport and settled in and made an appointment with a local GP for the next day.

The GP and a pharmacist we spoke to had hardly heard about bacteriophages despite the new laws that say a GP can now refer to a pharmacist for Magistral Phage Preparations etc. Google that! Not a good sign. The doctor did give me a referral to a specialist.

Armed with the referral we caught bus to the Queen Astrid Military Hospital, the centre of bacteriophage studies in Belgium.

After a bit of a search in the hospital we found the team and a member took the time to speak to me. She made it clear that the legal  infrastructure may be in place in Belgium, as it is in Poland, but without major education campaigns for doctors (think pharmaceutical funded symposiums for doctors at the Gold Coast where they are sure to go to) and a major expansion in phage facilities and phage research not much is likely to happen. So as it is the team is poorly funded and has to choose carefully who to treat with the limited phage collection they have. This means serious and desperate cases with a good phage prognosis get priority and walking wounded like myself are not likely to get picked.

In the days following I did get a form for my doctors to complete but it was pretty clear I was not going to be eligible, especially given my location on the other side of the world. It is not a one shot treatment, phages are a program which requires monitoring and phage adjustments in most cases taking months.  I was not going to find people  like myself who were getting phage treatment as antibiotics were causing more sideeffects than benefits, people who prefered to try phages as a choice rather than desperacy. Mind you I'm pretty desperate with 38% lung function for the past X years and an infection that will not go away!

Other than that the unit was only a research unit and of course could not give treatment for my issues at hand. Nor could they refer me to or even suggest a GP in Belgium who was phage aware. She did urge me to get urgent help for my coughing blood episodes.

Fortunately the Ukraine phages worked enough to settle my  infection, even though they were not specifically for my infection, but still at least were for generic pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.

Also in the mean time Italy COVID19 infections started exploding and people were getting nervous everywhere.

We decided to stop calling into medical facilities and looking for sick people. Time to head for Holland and think about going back to Australia as the flu was becoming a big news story. I emailed the airline re an earlier flight and rerouting me directly home rather than via my family in Canberra.

We went to Holland, my old country of birth. Eventually we booked into a luxury hotel in my home town as we had lost confidence in small Airbnbs and budget hotels and we are now in an expensive hotel where even here we ask them not to clean the room.

I tried to call the airline a few times but hung up after 45 minutes on hold.

We spend our time doing cold beachwalks and renting bicycles and staying out of crowds. We have a rental car and do not need to get into public transport.

In one town in Holland we ran into a shop assistant who knew about phages and had seen documentaries on it and was aware people with serious infections were just.visiting former USSR countries for treatments. We got her on tape.

Waiting for the 18th. Let's hope we don't get any flu, it is the season here ... Let's hope we get on that plane home.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Phages in The Ukraine city of Lviv

I jumped on the train to Lviv in the Ukraine. Three hours to the border, changed to a wide track train, got checked for flu symptoms by soldiers and arrived about 730pm Friday night

On my way into town I enthusiastically stopped at a few pharmacies and discovered language is a major barrier here.

Long story short, I visited about 5 pharmacies who all sold phages and phage derived lysate products. Still it seems to me it is not the most common cold, cough and diarrhoea medicine that I was expecting it to be. Perhaps this is because antibiotics for the average person would still work a lot more effectively than a commercial phage preparation. Primarily because phages need to be individually matched to infections, and a random cocktail will only work for the most common infections.

I found one person who spoke good English and he explained he gets the phage based medications and sometimes they work in a matter of days, but when they don't he goes to the doctor for antibiotics etc. This indicates that without local  phage clinics and efficient specimen pathology services individualised phage treatment (Magistral Preparations) would be difficult and hence antibiotics would be more suitable.

To really understand the situation I found the Pharmacy Museum here but the old women with their painted hair were seriously unfriendly and borderline hostile. Not interested to say or do anything. Being a functional pharmacy as well they were not interested in helping me and just took my money and pushed me  into the museum. I even asked if I could see a doctor somewhere but despite understanding the word doctor just walked away from me.

In any case, I spoke to people, bought various phage preparations, really enjoyed the overnight experience. I will read the medicine inserts and labels carefully when I'm back in Poland.

As it happened I (discreetly) coughed a fair amount of blood again, just after entering Poland whilst changing trains. Phage treatment cannot come fast enough for me. I think I need to get us to Belgium sooner rather than later and see a doctor.

The only thing I took here other than my usual meds was a nasal eucalyptus spray, which I doubt caused the bleed. I've also been doing enough walking and nebs, eating healthy and I must say I feel great with little coughing even.

After the Hemoptysis episode I took the first class train back to Krakow to avoid the crowd. Fortunately it was only a fraction more expensive. I think the reason it is not popular is because the first class wagon is old fashioned and has no power points at the seats!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Moving right along...

Well, well, well. Conclusion after visiting Wroclaw. My intention was to visit a country and a clinic where I understood people were 'routinely' treated with Phages. The institute in Wroclaw has been supplying phages to Polish hospitals for almost 50 years, and from interviews, I have seen and google searches I have done I had believed that phage therapy was much more used here in Poland than it now appears. This would have been significant because it is in the European Union and operates under European medical protocols.
Visiting the Phage Therapy Unit of the Medical Centre at the Institute of Immunology and **Experimental** (!) Therapy (pictured above) I discovered that it is a bleak and empty academic feeling unit, and not a bustling medical facility as I had expected. There were no patients or people coming or going, and the receptionist I was able to speak to spoke good English but was keen not to be filmed or recorded. She confirmed that Polish people do not get phage therapy except under very special circumstances and at their own expense. The cost of treatment is about €1700 but this is, of course, a ballpark figure. She would see if I could speak to one of their doctors. A doctor did contact me, but he was wrongly informed, thinking I wanted treatment, and that a consultation meeting to explain the treatment procedure was possible in March for which cash payment was required. This is not really what I am here for, though I would love to get phage treatment for my infection. I emailed to explain. Over the past 6 months, I have also communicated with the Georgian Eliava Phage Therapy Center, and I could get nothing but treatment discussions with them and no response to interview requests.
I came to Poland to interview people about phage therapy, about commercial phage preparations, how many people they treat, what infections are they most successful with, its general use in Poland... How many Polish people are treated annually with phages in Poland etc.
In Australia no-one knows anything about phages. Just a few scientists, but not the medical world. But I now know that it is almost the same in Poland.... It is not for the average patient. It is special and experimental here too, just like in the rest of the western world. I will try travel to Ukraine later this week (across the border) and see how they use it there. But if I show people at home it is used in Ukraine it will not have the same effect as showing they use it in (EEC) Poland. Poland would have been very believable. Australians will look at Ukraine, like they would at Georgia (former USSR), that phage use is similar to say snake-bile in China... Good for them but nothing Western, in other words not believable. If I had evidence it was used in Poland we would all be more convinced!
Tomorrow we leave for Krakow, East Poland, and I will see if I can catch a train to Ukraine for a day while Cindy awaits my return in Krakow. Being so close I want to have a quick look at a pharmacy there and purchase some commercially available bacteriophage-based medicine.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Welcome to Wroclaw

Without any further problems we drove to the city of Wroclaw where the famous Ludwig Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy is situated. The Phage Therapy Unit in their Medical Centre (IIET PAS) has been conducting research on the biological properties and the application of bacteriophages for several decades. They isolate bacteriophages and prepare phage formulations for different hospitals in Poland for their respective phage therapy since the 1970s - see their website -
At this stage it has become clear to us that although phages appear to be commonly used in Poland since the institute has supplied hospitals since the 1970s, the three different pharmacies we visited today only know of antibiotic prescriptions and standard cough medicine. Worse still, the pharmacists themselves are very puzzled by phages, even when I show the products on the internet or the website of the institute. One pharmacist went as far to say that these are only for medical experiments by scientists and not used in the Polish medical profession. This is exactly what I get told in Australia by my doctors. Yes, I am a little disappointed and very confused. I have seen documentaries from SBS etc. where doctors from the institute in Poland were asked why this therapy is not available in other European countries to which they have no answers as they operate under the same European protocols according to the 'Declaration of Helsinki for the Medical Profession Act - 5th December 1996....
In any case, we may need to visit ex-Soviet countries such as the Ukraine next door... This was not part of the original plan but maybe worthwhile as I really want to see how phage-based medicine is dispensed in some countries, and we are so close here.
Cindy and I did an introduction to Poland session with Marta, a young professional (an Airbnb event) in a local cafe for 2 hours and have established a good contact to help us in case we run into trouble or need some translation help.
My health is holding out although I am coughing up more blood. I would love to try some phage options ASAP. Just to recap my expectations, a commercial phage preparation for my pseudomonas aeruginosa is likely to lessen my infection temporarily, but to eradicate my infection I will need specific targeted phage therapy in conjunction with antibiotics over a period of weeks or months which is not something I'm expecting to get on this trip. I am however expecting to get some phage treatment and obtain a lot of relief, including an albeit temporary but significant increase in lung function.
Here is me coughing blood...

And PS, yes there was an incredible military parade in the old town here in Wroclaw. No idea why...

Friday, February 21, 2020

Arrival in Warsaw

Yesterday late afternoon we arrived in Warsaw. When we picked up the rental car we were given a fancy Mercedes instead of the budget choice we had arranged. This is normally wonderful, but... We got the keys in the airport terminal and headed down to an attendant-less dark garage. It took us 20 minutes to find out how to change seat position and controls and acquire the bare minimum car knowledge required to drive. Not easy amongst all the buttons, switches and digital displays. Even the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car. Easiest of all was putting on our fancy magnetic phage or fail magnetic door sign.

By now it was probably 6 p.m. and we headed into Warsaw City, ( to find the hotel we had booked through the airline. The navigation took us to an obscure set of buildings in the city, none of which looked anything even remotely like a hotel. The phone number we had had an answering machine in Polish, and the friendly local people trying to help us were also unable to find it. we tried a few nearby addresses and drove aimlessly for about an hour looking everywhere before we decided that this city was too much for our tired brains. The reason we had a City hotel was so we could have a few hours in the historic Old City before driving to Wroclaw in the morning. We headed off West at about 8 p.m.

Amazingly the highway here has 140 km per hour speed limit and so in no time we were clear of the City and stopped at a roadside McDonald's. There we used our phone to book a nearby Hotel.

The nearest one, 2 km away spoke English and we booked a room there. Due to the 8 lane motorway we had to drive 30kms around to get there but that was no problem. The hotel was palatial, complete  with white marble stairs but no elevator. We happily carried our heavy suitcases to the second floor and crashed out exhausted.

The day before in Amsterdam I had to cough up blood (freaking out supermarket staff and everybody around me) so I have to make sure I do my meds/therapy/exercise seriously and not cut any corners. Can't wait to go into a pharmacy today and see what they've got for phages

Thursday, February 13, 2020

STEP 1 - Leaving for Canberra

Today is the day!

Cindy and I are flying to Canberra on Frequent flyer points and I have relatives and friends there. Two nights in Canberra will ensure I have everything with me that I need. Currently, my luggage weighs 28kg, most of which is medical equipment and medicine. My nebuliser, my oxygen concentrator (the red bag), and enough medicine to see me through 6 weeks, just in case we need to be quarantined for 2019-nCoV - the Corona Virus. Cindy hasn't got that much so we can even out the suitcases at some point.

In Canberra, I will find out what I have forgotten... Hopefully nothing. I have made lists and been methodical and careful, just like the other 20 times when I did forget things. There will be a day in Canberra to sort out any issues.

Next stop will be AbuDhabi, via Melbourne. There we plan to catch our breath for 2 nights at a complimentary free stopover hotel before flying to Amsterdam, Two nights with my cousin Mike there making sure I am healthy and have no flu symptoms before flying to Poland where the work begins! It seems a silly way to do it but when you have fickle lungs it is the safest way to go I think, and as it happened with Etihad it was also a most affordable option from Canberra, and don't forget we are doing this on a shoestring budget!

Just a reminder, I am paying my own airfares and treatment costs if applicable, and fundraising documentary funds I use to help subsidise Cindy and incidentals and travel for the documentary and then on our return, we need the big bucks ($10-30k to get professionals to help us assemble the documentary from our clips and recordings. Please help us make the documentary and tell the world about our investigation into Bacteriophages to help fight antibiotic-resistant infections!

And STOP PRESS listen to this informative easy to understand podcast to understand Phages.

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