'This was my last resort,' Ottawa-area woman says of experimental phage therapy to treat infection

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Thea Turcotte believes her life was likely saved by an experimental treatment developed in Winnipeg for a chronic artificial joint infection.

“Without this trial, I probably would not be here by now,” said the Ottawa-area resident, who is believed by her doctor to be the first person in Canada to be treated with phage therapy for periprosthetic joint infection (PJI).

“It’s given me a new lease on life. I’m just so happy to be here, to be able to be with my family, with my children, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I have a lot to live for,” said Turcotte, 79.

Phages are viruses that target bacteria, invading

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