A WEE COUNTY family are fighting to get their son access to a potentially life-changing drug which is currently unavailable on the NHS.

Alloa's Boyd Martin has been living with Phenylketonuria (PKU) since he was first diagnosed as an infant.

PKU is a rare, but potentially-serious disorder, which means his body cannot break down some amino acids from protein in his diet.

Too much protein can cause a build-up of amino acid within his blood and brain – which can lead to brain damage.

To prevent that from happening, 11-year-old Boyd has had a restricted diet from the day of his diagnosis.

In practice, his mum Alexis told the Advertiser that this means "90 per cent of his food comes off of prescription".

At a maximum, the youngster can consume 12grammes of protein a day, but he must strictly stick to that limit.

Alexis said: "If someone brings birthday cake to school and it's home-made, we can't analyse how much protein's in that, so he doesn't get cake.

"If he was to go to a birthday party and there's a buffet sitting out, and everyone's taking little things like sandwiches, Boyd can't get any of that.

"He has to go to birthday parties with his own plate of food."

While the main treatment of PKU is through dietary restrictions, there is a drug called Kuvan which has been proven to help those with PKU manage the condition.

However, the drug is not currently available on the NHS.

According to the Scottish Medicines Consortium – the organisation which decides which drugs should be used by NHSScotland – the drug's manufacturer's "justification of the treatment's cost in relation to its health benefits was not sufficient".

Despite that finding, a petition urging the NHS to take the decision to fund the drug has been signed by more than 16,000 people.

And Alexis and Boyd hope that by sharing his story, others might sign the petition too.

Alexis admitted that everyone is different, and the effect Kuvan could have on young Boyd is unknown.

But it has the potential to allow him to go about his day-to-day life without having to relentlessly monitor his diet.

And for an 11-year-old boy about to start high school, that could be life-changing.

To access the petition urging the NHS to fund Kuvan, visit tinyurl.com/w9cc9mu