A Bradford mother-of-two has hailed a new hepatitis C drug for “saving her life” after she was cured of the illness during a trial for the new treatment.

Lesley Jenkins, 51, of Wibsey, took part in the trial after living with the life-threatening illness which she contracted when she had a blood transfusion after the birth of her son in 1985.

As the Telegraph & Argus has previously reported, she was diagnosed with the illness, which estimates suggest 2,207 individuals are infected with in Bradford, in 2007 and following standard chemotherapy she embarked on the trial for the drug Telaprevir in February, 2009.

Mrs Jenkins now works part-time for the Hepatitis C Trust, as well as running her own training consultancy business, after being cleared of the illness after 18 months.

She credits the drug, which was being rolled out across the UK today, with saving her life after normal treatments were not found to work.

She said: “I had it for half my life and I feel I’m living a normal life again now.

“I feel born again at 52, I feel like my life has started again.

“I am so pleased I was part of the trial because I feel as if I have done my bit to pay back. I have made a contribution going forward for the people who are waiting for this drug.”

Clinical trials have suggested a Telaprevir-based regimen is more effective than standard treatment in all genotype-1 patient types, including those with advanced liver disease such as cirrhosis.

Using Telaprevir cleared the virus in almost twice as many previously untreated patients and almost four times as many who had previously relapsed following treatment.

It can also halve the period of treatment to just six months in 58 per cent of previously untreated patients.

Professor Graham Foster, of Queen Mary’s University Hospital of London, said: “For many adults with chronic genotype-1 hepatitis C, treatment with a telaprevir based regimen could provide a shorter treatment duration with improved response rates compared to standard treatment.”

For more information and help for those with hepatitis C visit HelpEveryPersonC.co.uk.