Teenager waits for marrow transplant

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A KIRKBY youngster suffered mysterious bruises and extreme tiredness for a year before she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow failure.

Brave Jordan Winter (12) was diagnosed last month with aplastic anaemia, a rare condition with similar symptoms to leukaemia.

Mum Mandy Shirley said the Ashfield School pupil’s symptoms had shown themselves for about a year. But it was only after their GP received the result of a blood test the family realised how severe Jordan’s condition was.

The severity of her condition even led to her GP sending police officer’s to the family home to inform the family, after he was unable to contact them straight away.

“Jordan would tell me how tired she was but I thought she had been up to late talking to her friends,” she said.

“When the doctor found out the results of the blood test, he did not have my new phone number and he was absolutely furious because he was desperate to inform us so he ended up sending the police to our house.”

Having the condition means Jordan’s white blood cells are attacking her bone marrow, causing her blood cell levels to drop dangerously low.

It means Jordan is constantly back and forth from the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham for regular transfusions of red blood cells and platelets and she is waiting for a bone marrow transplant.

Said mum Mandy Shirley: “It’s all happened so fast we are still very much struggling to get our heads around Jordan’s condition. We know that it is a very rare condition with similar symptoms to leukaemia. But it is harder to treat because Jordan’s body is attacking itself.”

Mandy said friends and family had been ‘amazing’ following the diagnosis.

“Everyone has been fantastic. Almost as soon as we knew, we’ve had people offering to donate blood, even bone marrow. It’s all about getting as close a match as possible so Jordan’s body does not reject the donor’s bone marrow.”

Mandy has taken her daughter out of school while she recieves treatment and her teachers are to send work home. Jordan has to be careful to avoid infection because her immune system is so weak. She is now keeping in touch with friends through the internet.

Said Jordan: “I’m very tired and I get dark patches in front of my eyes. I can still see my friends and we keep in touch through Facebook.”

A number of events have since been organised to aid Jordan’s cause.

Last month, friends of the family at the Ashfields pub in Kirkby held a fund-raising event for the family featuring a host of activities.

The family used the money to pay for a new comfy mattress for Jordan, who struggles to sleep following her treatment. The pub is also planning to host a charity bungee jump and a snooker marathon.

Mandy, who quit college to look after her daughter, is writing a diary about Jordan’s treatment which she plans to make available to the public in the future. She said: “I hope by writing down our experiences it can be of some use to another family going through what we are.”