Daisy Turner was diagnosed with a type of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) at the young age of 16.
Now 21 years old, Daisy is in remission and optimistic about her future, eagerly waiting to start university this coming year.
“I first realised something was wrong when I kept falling asleep at school. But when I was diagnosed, MDS was no more than a label to me, I did not feel sick.”
Daisy carried on the life of any other 16 year old, determined that having MDS would not get her down. But reality came when her illness began to take a turn for the worse.
“I was due to go to Peru on an expedition and was devastated to learn that suddenly my delicate immune system would not let me go. But the unique empathy in the way that Professor Mufti, my doctor at Kings College Hospital in London, delivered this news gave me great comfort.”
Having lived relatively comfortably with MDS for three years Daisy still felt unstoppable. But during her gap year her life changed. Suddenly her bone marrow stopped producing important blood cells and she desperately needed intensive treatment.
“What broke me was learning that I would lose my hair as a result of the chemotherapy. Silly, I know, but to me this was a sign that I really was sick and could no longer hide it, not even from myself.”
Fortunately doctors at Kings were able to offer Daisy a stem cell transplant, and she received stem cells from two cord blood donors. This treatment saved her life.
“Even when I was at my worst, sweating profusely and in pain all over, the doctors and nurses at Kings College Hospital never failed to express compassion throughout their impeccable care. I feel proud and privileged to have received such great treatment and as a result consider that more and more patients like me will be seen as success stories.”