“I relocated to Ireland from the United Kingdom and prior to this I was receiving medical treatment in the UK. I never liked going into the hospital, my fears of going into hospital resulted from having met other patients during blood exchange, getting to know them, and finding out on later appointment that they had passed on. My sister passed away with the same sickness. These experiences stayed with me and would often result in me viewing hospital admission as a negative experience.
During my treatment in St James Hospital, I was diagnosed with ‘Acute Chest Syndrome’ and further tests showed that my sickle cell blood level was high. I had to have an immediate blood exchange and then had a stroke on my left side. On getting this diagnosis the first thought I had was ‘how much more can I handle, why me?’ I felt like the world was on top of me. This feeling was with me for some time but with the help of family and friends as well as the excellent support from St. James’s Hospital, I picked myself up, got a job and looked after my son and faced this head-on.
I have since been on a blood transfusion programme in St. James’s which includes blood exchange once every 3 weeks for this. The treatment that I am receiving in Ireland is second to none. Since I have been getting the treatment, I have seen a huge improvement: my sickle cell crisis has reduced and I am back to work, which was so difficult for me before. Everyone here at St. James’s Hospital – from the receptionist, social worker to the doctors and nurses- they are like my second family.
I am fundraising for the Sickle Cell Service here at the hospital and hope to raise €10,000. It’s the least I can do and it will benefit the patients using this service at St. James’s Hospital.
Thank you for your support
About St. James’s Hospital’s Sickle Cell [& Thalassaemia] Service
Dr. Emma Tuohy leads St James’s Hospital’s dedicated Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and Thalassaemia Service (also known as the Haemoglobinopathy Service). The department provides a service to all adult pati ents with a diagnosis of SCD and Thalassaemia. SCD is an inherited illness which aff ects the haemoglobin contained in your red blood cells. This can result in a ‘sickle cell crisis’. Over 600 people in Ireland are aff ected and the number is growing.
The service is closely linked with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC) who offer dedicated paediatric care for children with SCD and Thalassaemia in Ireland.