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Sián's Story

It was Christmas 1999. I was in training for our annual figure skating show. I had been skating for 7 years before hand and had always come back to the Island with a medal.

Leaning over the barrier, I called up to my mother, Trina. 'Mum, my back hurts.' Mum just rolled her eyes and told me to get on with my skating. I just got through our show. I had joints swell up where I didn't think they could!!

The shows came and went. Same with Christmas and the Millennium but I was still very tired, I could only eat Satsuma's, anything else made me sick. My 13th Birthday was coming up, but what to do? Sleep, to me was the best option.

Back at school, my work was affected and I couldn't take part in P.E. purely because my friends would see how thin I'd become. I'd come home, sit in my chair either be doing my homework or be in the middle of writing a text message and I'd fall asleep, still with my coat on because I felt the cold so easily.

Mum gave in to my moaning and took me to see our local GP who took a blood test, and boy did I kick up a hissy fit. I didn't like needles. Within a few hours of getting the results back, my Doctor was round to see me.

'We need to take Sián straight into hospital. I've called ahead to St Mary's; they know you're on your way.' What?!! Hospital?? No way. I know I hated needles, but I also hated Hospitals too.

Mum explained on the way my platelet count was down to 4. That meant nothing to me. I was supposed to be admitted for 3-5 day, I stayed in for 3 weeks with a trip to Southampton General.

I was meant to go over there for a platelet transfusion and was sent to the cancer patient ward with all the kids staring at me.

'Mum why are they staring?'

'It's your hair Sián'

I had long thick brown hair that came down to my waist. They were staring because I had hair and they didn't.

I was discharged from St Mary's, but with open admission. They had given my 2 pints of blood which had put some colour in my face and I started eating some proper food but I still favoured Satsuma's! From the time I was admitted to the time I was discharged, I was taken for rides in ambulances and taken for treatment, which I never got in some cases.

I was back and forth in and out of hospital. Up to St George's Hospital in Tooting. There, they diagnosed me with A Plastic Anaemia. At the time I thought all I needed was blood transfusions to get me better, but it wasn't until the first May Bank Holiday in 2000, when I had serious fits, that they said I was misdiagnosed and told I had Systemic Lupus.

My brother, Phillip had heard me cry out and came in to my room to find me fitting. The Island ambulance crew came round and told my mum I would come out of it. If they had left me; I wouldn't be here writing this. Not with a blood pressure of 210/120!!!

Mum was furious. So back up to St Georges, but on the correct medication and under the supervision of Professor Olivera.

Yes, taking large doses of steroids gets me down and I've put on weight, but I'm back figure skating which I would never want to give up.

I had to start from scratch with the lessons, but after 7 years, I'm almost back to where I left off