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Schoolgirl who thought she was just tired diagnosed with serious blood disorder

A schoolgirl who thought she was simply tired in class received the devastating news she in fact had a serious blood disorder.

After a year of lockdowns Sian Kirk, 18, was looking forward to a summer of freedom with her friends but now her plans are on hold as she faces gruelling treatment for Aplastic Anaemia.

The condition, which falls under the broader Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome, means Sian’s marrow can’t produce enough blood cells, reports the Daily Record.

Sian, from East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, first went to the doctor after she came out in circular bruises which began to spread across her body.

Lethargy and bruising are two of the most common symptoms of Aplastic Anaemia.

She’ll start chemotherapy on Wednesday ahead of a bone marrow transplant.

Sian Kirk and sister Mhairi

The diagnosis came as a huge shock to an otherwise healthy Sian, who never thought something as simple and everyday as tiredness could be so serious.

Sian said: “Last year I knew I was feeling tired, but I put that down to being a young girl in school.

“Then around October I noticed a few bruises across my body.

“By the November there were more and they were like round, dark circles, which made me go to the doctor.

“I didn’t know what to expect.”

Blood test results showing a low iron count led to Sian being rushed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary for further blood tests, an ultrasound scan, chest x-rays and bone marrow samples.

Medics discovered her bone marrow was only functioning at 40%, which is considered to be dangerously low.

The worrying statistic left Sian hospitalised and resulted in her enduring several blood transfusions in the weeks that followed.

“Thankfully doctors knew I didn’t have cancer,” she added.

“But they weren’t sure what the exact condition was, which was a worrying.

“I had to have more tests done and samples were sent to labs across the country, then it took a good while for results to come back.”

Schoolgirl who thought she was just tired diagnosed with serious blood disorder
Sian Kirk now faces chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant

Despite the frequent blood transfusions, Sian’s bone marrow function plummeted to a worrying 20%.

Test results came back in February and doctors finally detected Aplastic Anaemia.

With chemo then a bone marrow transplant being her only option, Sian luckily secured a donor.

But the gruelling treatment that lies ahead doest unsettle brave Sian, who has been opening up about her journey online.

She said: “I will be alright and knowing that makes me feel a lot better about it all.

“Friends and family have been amazing.

“School and exams this year have been really hard as I find it so difficult to concentrate.

“But I’ve had support from teachers and hope to get into college, to study occupational therapy.”

Sian cut her hair last week to donate to the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for those facing hair loss.

Falling ill during the coronavirus pandemic opened Sian’s eyes to the devastating effect lockdown has had on charities that rely so heavily on fundraising events, like Anthony Nolan UK, which works in the areas of leukaemia and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Determined to raise awareness for a cause that’s now so close to home, Sian’s loved ones are aiming to each walk 10,000 steps a day for the month of May. All proceeds will go to Anthony Nolan UK.

“Anthony Nolan UK hasn’t been able to accept donors or cash donations because of the pandemic,” Sian said.

“It’s important to help in any way we can.”

Sister Mhairi set up a JustGiving page where you can donate online.

For more information on Aplastic Anaemia and the work Anthony Nolan UK do, visit their website.

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