Matilda S
Posted by

Emily Johnson's story

Matilda S
Posted by
12 Dec 2011

Emily was diagnosed with actue lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in 1998 when she was five year old and was treated for two years at St. Georges Hospital in London.

Emily says: “Over the course of my treatment I had an array of different medication, all of which had some side-effects. My hair fell out at towards the start and one of the first chemotherapy drugs I was given led to stomach aches and vomiting.

"Other drugs made me drowsy and have bad mood swings, along with a huge appetite, so I got quite chubby. I had to have lumber punches on my spine every few months, which involved going under anaesthetic. I also got a few infections after my treatment completed as a result of being neutropenic.

"I was attached to a drip in hospital a lot of the time. My medicine was administered through my Hickman line, which always felt tingly. I had three of these over two years and I still have the scars, although they don’t bother me.

"Despite being so ill I was still a bubbly child, sitting at the nurse’s desk, drawing pictures for them. I loved going to the hospital school and playroom when I could.

"I’m currently studying biomedical science in my second year at University. I’m so grateful for the treatment I received. Although it was quite intense, I was so lucky to receive it in time. Thanks to charities like Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, new treatments and research projects are being funded that will hopefully see an end to childhood leukaemia altogether.”