A TEENAGEMAN has died just weeks after being wrongly diagnosed with tonsillitis.
Leah Rogers, 17, had returned home from her first parental leave with a group of friends before she fell ill.
After initially believing she was suffering from severe tonsillitis, Leah tragically died. Her parents were “devastated and couldn’t comprehend” what had happened.
The young girl, from Neath, Wales, fell unwell days after returning from holiday in Mallorca and was quickly prescribed antibiotics. Reports from Wales Online.
As her symptoms worsened, she was hospitalized twice over the following week.
Her mother, Kath Rogers, 57, said: “It got to the point where she accidentally overdosed on acetaminophen because she was taking too many painkillers.”
After days of no improvement in her condition, she was prescribed another course of antibiotics.
But Kath realized the hospital hadn’t given her enough pills to get through the ten-day cure.
When she returned to the hospital, the mother was told that Leah needed to be with her to collect the medicines.
When she came back with Leah, she was taken in by a specialist who suspected she might have glandular fever.
However, she had pain in her liver, which blood tests showed was due to liver failure.
Leah was taken to the intensive care unit at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, where she showed signs of confusion and kept trying to get out of bed.
Staff told Leah’s family they would put her on life support before transferring her to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
“I figured they would just put her on life support for the trip and then wake her up when we got to Birmingham.
“But they never woke her up,” Kath said.
Doctors warned Leah’s parents that they could have a blood condition called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH).
HLH is a life-threatening immune disorder that causes the body to respond inappropriately to a trigger, usually an infection.
Tragically, Leah received an official HLH diagnosis.
After family doctors told the family there was nothing more they could do for the teenager, they made the heartbreaking decision together to reduce the medication that was keeping Leah alive.
Leah sadly passed away on June 7th, just three months before her 18th birthday.
The family is now raising awareness of the disease and hoping that a cure can be found.
“You never expect to lose your child, it’s the hardest thing of all and I don’t think we’ll ever get over it — it’s the worst thing imaginable,” Kath said.
The family have raised over £20,000 for the charity History UK A fundraiser at a local pub also celebrated Leah’s 18th birthday.
This month they are organizing another fundraiser for the charity as part of an event to commemorate Leah on September 9th at JK’s in Briton Ferry.
Tickets cost £10 and are available from JK’s. Donations or payments to the charity can be made through PayPal to email@example.com.
What are the symptoms of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis?
Symptoms of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis vary in severity and vary from person to person.
The most common signs include:
- Fever that does not respond to antibiotics
- A rash
- A big liver
- A large spleen
- Enlarged lymph nodes
Other symptoms could be:
- lightheadedness or dizziness
- Pale skin
Life-threatening signs of HLH include:
- Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
- retinal hemorrhages
Source: Cleveland Clinic