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Hey- Im 4!

So today is my 4th transplant birthday, and i thought that would be a good time to introduce myself really! I was diagnosed with very sever aplastic anaemia (a blood condition causing bone marrow failure) back in 2010. My prognosis was not good, my counts were ridiculously low so much so the doctors were shocked to see me still conscious let alone walking around. Id convinced myself that there was nothing seriously wrong and all i needed was some antibiotics. I was a university student who after 5 weeks of feeling run down, getting colds and what seemed to me un-related infections thought that i had properly just been burning the candle at both ends. I was young and i believed i was invincible, a trip to my gp changed my life forever.

The doctor seemed to know what was wrong almost instantly, he went into panic mode booking my blood tests and then realising that this panic had reflected onto me he then tried to rationalise things and calm me down, I went in for bloods and then despite advice went to university regardless. It was the first day back and we were being set new work- i wasn't missing it for the world- however another panicked face and a drive straight home from my tutor made me realise maybe i did need to rest in bed for an hr or so. Lunchtime i received a panicked phone call from my gp who wanted me back in with a friend and an overnight bag and i planned to go in at 5pm. My student loan was due and that to me seemed the most important thing of all- so i gave up on bed rest and went to check my balance- and hopefully do some shopping to. Breathless and exhausted id made it as far as the cash point (about 4mins walk away) and i had to turn back and go to bed, my bag gets packed and next thing i know I'm back in the room with the now calm and logical doctor (who i also have to say was very attractive). He tells me i shouldn't be conscious and that i needed blood, but i didn't take much else on board. I get rushed up to the hospital where my ghost like face becomes my id to all of the nurses on the ward. I am taken straight in for a bmt aspiration, and the blood is up and on a rapid infuser- at this point i think i will be able to sneak out and join my friends at a club later that night but the pain of the aspiration says otherwise- I was convinced the only reason they did the stupid test was to stop me partying!

The next morning i wake with the realisation that i need those results back before they will let me go- so maybe it would be late morning before i could leave... the doc comes in to give me the news- and i give her the shock of her life as i know her from orchestra- unfortunately she was just as shocked to see me, and runs out unable to give me the news. At this point they think I'm very ill (I'm not so convinced but they tell me i am), it was a good few hours before another familiar face from orchestra pops his head around- seriously was it like a pre-requist to becoming a haematologist? Anyway he explains that I'm seriously ill and needed a transplant- i seemed caught up on the anaemia and thought a bit more greens would do it- also thanks to my appalling grasp on science i had no idea what a bone marrow did so the fact mine wasn't working didn't seem to faze me much.... A few days later when it had all sunk in a bit i found out the fantastic news that i was lucky enough to have a sibling match- which was described to my mam as my only viable option as although their was another treatment option while they searched for an unrelated donor they didn't think id make it to transplant- At this point they were unsure if id even make it till the end of the week let alone transplant.

My conditioning for transplant took place just 2 weeks after diagnosis and 3 weeks in i was receiving my magic cells. 3.5 months of isolation, a canceled trip to camp in america, and many speed bumps along the way i was out and got to see the world in a completely new light! My recovery had lots of blips including more isolation and chemo as a result of P-T-L-D and other infections, a non existent immune system and extremely slow weening of anti-regection drugs.... But here i am 4 years on!

Im now back at uni (part time due to fatigue), able to eat salad, back at the gym (not sure i really went before but i go now), and enjoying my life as much as i can. I still have a naff immune system (i have monthly IVIG's), extreme fatigue and a weird blood pressure/ heart condition but life is good and I'm alive! who'd have thought I'm now superhuman with 2 DNA's and 2 magical birthdays making me both 24 and 4 all at the same time!!


  • Welcome to the forum Wen.

    A belated happy re-birthday for yesterday.

    Wow, it sounds like things happened in a hurry for you, but thats just as well perhaps. You were lucky to have a sibling match that allowed the transplant so quickly. It sounds like if you'd had to wait for an unrelated donor you might not have made it.

    Donors are life saving heroes, whether related or unrelated.

    I'm so glad you're doing well, and even though you probably don't feel 100% back to normal due to the fatigue, I'm sure like most of us you celebrate every day of life.

    Good luck,

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