Little Greek Hero’s Brave Fight Against Spinal Atrophy Brings Hope to a Nation



Greek toddler Panagiotis Rafael Glossiotis is now a patient at the Boston Children’s Hospital. Credit: ”Γίνε ο ήρωας του Παναγιώτη-Ραφαήλ” Facebook Page

The condition of Panagiotis Rafael Glossiotis, the toddler from Chalkida, Greece who is suffering from a rare condition called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is progressing surprisingly well, it was made public on Monday.

His suffering moved the entire nation. Greeks offered millions of euros in donations in order for the little boy to pursue experimental therapy at Boston Children’s Hospital, in Massachusetts.

The Facebook page titled ”Gine o Iroas tou Panagioti-Rafael” (Be the Hero of Panagiotis-Rafael”) has just posted a moving video where Panagiotis is seen standing on his feet, something which seemed impossible just a few months ago.

Είχαμε καιρό να σας ενημερώσουμε για την κατάσταση του παιδιού, η καθημερινότητα μας ειναι γεματη απο εξετάσεις και Φυσικόθεραπειες. Είμαστε κάτι παραπάνω από ενθουσιασμενοι κ θέλαμε να το μοιραστούμε μαζί σας, γιατί χαρη σε εσάς το καταφέραμε αυτό!!! Το ξέρουμε ότι έχουμε πολύ δρόμο και πολλή δουλειά ακόμα αλλά έχουμε την υπομονή και τη δύναμη που μας δινει ο μικρός μας και εσείς!! Σας ευχαριστούμε ολόψυχα ❤️❤️❤️

Posted by Γίνε ο ήρωας του Παναγιώτη-Ραφαήλ on Monday, 13 January 2020

The Facebook post noted that the toddler’s parents are ”more than excited” and they wanted to share it with everyone because they had accomplished all this, as they said, ”thanks to you!”

The Glossiotis family explained in their moving post that their daily life now ”is full of exams and physiotherapies.”

”We know that we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but we have the patience and power that our little boy and you give us!” the post said, expressing their gratitude for the massive support the family has received from the public of Greece, Cyprus and elsewhere.

The family ended their post with the heartfelt words ”Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

More than three million euros were raised in a matter of days in October, when it was made known that Greece’s National Health Service (ESY) would not cover the expenses for his treatment in the US since the breakthrough therapy offered in Boston is only in the experimental stage.

Greek medical authorities advising the government had ruled back in 2019 that the state could not cover transportation and hospitalization costs, since the treatment offered in the US for this deadly decease has yet to be proven effectual. They also stated that the treatment may have severe side-effects and has yet to be endorsed by European Union’s health authorities.

“Without this treatment, he will die,” Panagiotis Rafael’s desperate father had told interviewers from Greek television channels, sparking an unprecedented outpouring of support from Greece, Cyprus and every corner of the world.

Hopefully, Panagiotis Rafael will soon be able to enjoy his life in full, just like any other toddler — thanks to all his supporters who gave willingly of themselves to make his recovery possible.