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Paul’s story

On 4 February 2001 I was born, as a known carrier my mum knew there was a possibility of me having the bleeding condition. I was diagnosed with severe Haemophilia A at 2 hours old which was not a surprise to my parents as they already had my brother with the condition and my sister, a carrier.

As with most haemophiliacs I progressed perfectly normally, however when I was five and a half months old Mum got up and I was unusually still asleep, she tried to wake me, but I was floppy and unresponsive, when she picked me up my forehead appeared to swell.

Cutting a long story short I had had an intercranial bleed on 3 levels and was put into an induced coma for 5 days. A seizure caused left side paralysis for 4 days, but thanks to quick treatment and a wonderful haemophilia nurse I can tell the story in good health. Within a week I had a portacath fitted which I had until I was 3 when it became infected.

When I was being examined for my port infection the Doctor found a heart murmur which turned out to be Mixed Aortic Valve Disease and has been monitored every 6—12 months. As I seemed to bruise much worse than my brother, I had further blood tests and it was found that I had a platelet disorder, no name for it but treatable.

When I was much younger I used watch my older brother play cricket and was very keen to give it a go, I found that I really enjoyed it and was always nagging my family to let me join as soon as I was old enough. From then on, my life has revolved around cricket, when I was 7 I was lucky enough to play for an older age group and found myself very much at home and from then on almost lived at the local cricket club. 

That year, further to my mother’s distress, I was hit by a car when coming back from the ice cream van, I suffered from very bad bruising and a haematoma on the back of my head and spent 3 days in the local hospital. Also, when I was 7 I started self-treating which helped me become more independent.

As I was growing up, I struggled with my anger, I was assessed and diagnosed with ADHD. Cricket was instrumental in helping me control my anger as it gave me something different to focus on.

When I was 14, I was selected for Berkshire u14s development team. I played 1 game for them which was against the county age group side and I performed well enough to be asked to play for the county age group side. I then played for the county until I was 17. I played my first game for my club’s 1st XI when I was 15 and I ended up playing every game that year. We won the league and got promoted.

I attended at cricket college at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton (Hampshire’s County Ground). I was able to achieve a BTEC in sport. I Also managed to get my level 2 cricket coaching qualification which is something that I love doing and intend to make a career out of. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at the Cricket world cup and was lucky enough to be a flag bearer and got to hold the champion’s England’s flag.

Having a positive life and living an active lifestyle is very important for anyone’s physical and mental health. I feel that being active and keeping myself physically fit has helped my muscles and joints become stronger which I believe has meant that I have had less bleeds. This is intended to encourage Haemophiliacs to become more active and positive with their lives.

“I won’t let Haemophilia define me” Will you?