Ken
Toronto,
Ontario
Recipient
Plasma
Platelets

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My life with Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)

Back in 2011, I was working a shift and noticed my gums started to bleed, the bleeding was a bit unusual because it wasn't dripping anywhere - there was just blood around the circumference of the gumlines. As the day went on, I noticed my gums and blood starting to jelly all around my mouth. A friend and co-worker of mine suggested I go to the hospital right away. At first because I can be stubborn, I ignored that suggestion and though I was just hungry. Since I worked downtown Toronto, I went to Hero Burger to get a bite to eat. However, I wasn't even hungry so I brought it home. Once I was home, I decided to look in the mirror again as the bleeding wouldn't stop and seemed to get worse, So I called EMS - EMS ignored my request to come out (which is a whole another story) so I took a taxi to St Joseph Hospital in Toronto.

 

Upon arriving at the hospital (after several hours of waiting), the nurse took a blood sample and shortly after a doctor informed me that I would be admitted straight to the ICU for further evaluation and he immediately informed me I have ITP and my platelets were at a very low level to where if I was to get punched or hurt, I could be bleeding excessively internally without noticing and die. This was a very near death experience for me and scary because i was in my early 20's.

 

While staying in the hospital for over a week, I went through series of testing. While having the test - they took so many samples of blood and tested for so many things - and couldn't determine the cause because I was overall healthy, so they ended up speaking to a specialist in hematology and oncology and determined I had ITP, and rare auto immune disease. The night of being admitted, I was required to get an emergency transfusion - as my body had 7 micro liters of platelets at the time (this is at a very dangerous level). Upon receiving those plasma blood platelets the first round didn't work - so they gave me a few more and started to notice an increase of platelets. It was still not at a safe level - so they also gave me IVIG a very cold substance to help boost this to a safer level. To give everyone an idea of how bad it was - if something were to happen to me, I wouldn't have been able to have surgery due to the low platelet counts.

 

To this day, I am fighting to keep my platelets level at a normal rate - the normal rate is 150 micro liters mine fluctuates a lot. However, I take it day by day. I wanted to share this story with everyone and encourage everyone to give blood as it does save lives, it saved mine.

 

I also wanted to thank the staff at St Joseph Hospital, they saved my life. I could have died that night according to doctors.