CALL US NOW 020 7939 0780

Zoe’s story

I am Zoe Mcgough and I have been living with a rare bleeding disorder for nineteen years. I was diagnosed when I was seven years old after suffering from a lot of bruises in addition to frequent joint pain, I have been on twice a day treatment since then.

When I was younger even with treatment I would suffer from very bad spontaneous bruising and suffered pain mostly in my legs that often left me in a wheelchair as using crutches would cause arm pain.

This meant that when I was around 7-12 I would often miss out on a lot of things my friends were doing due to pain or accessibility, my attendance at school also dropped a lot, all these things left me very frustrated as I couldn’t do what I wanted to and felt like I was missing out on a lot of things.

Eventually things were getting that bad that we decided to treat me with rituximab alongside a dose of steroids and since then the severity of these issues has decreased. I still suffer from bruising and pain but no as often after I was given this treatment, however my attendance at school was still low and subjects got difficult to keep up to so I needed a tutor who helped me get decent GCSE results.

Eventually things were getting that bad that we decided to treat me with rituximab alongside a dose of steroids and since then the severity of these issues has decreased. I still suffer from bruising and pain but no as often after I was given this treatment, however my attendance at school was still low and subjects got difficult to keep up to so I needed a tutor who helped me get decent GCSE results.

During my a levels I didn’t really have any problems as long as I stuck to my regular treatment, I made the most of them two years and came out with decent a level results and will be attending university after my gap year.

Another issue I had was my fear of needles, I have always had a port-a-cath since being seven as my veins were so small. They would be difficult to find and from nurses/doctors missing veins so often I developed a phobia. When I was younger it was very difficult for my mum to access my port often sitting waiting for an hour for me to allow her to put it in. Over the years I have learnt to deal with this and I can access and treat myself now.
This has allowed me to become more independent so I have been able to go on a girls holiday by myself.

I am currently travelling for 2 months around Singapore, bali, Australia and New Zealand with one of my friends. I haven’t let my bleeding disorder hold me back, as long as I am consistent with my treatment I can do what I want because at home I would often miss doses as I couldn’t be bothered and I’d soon notice as my legs would start hurting or bruises would appear. So far I have been on long walks, swimming most days and on a zipline over a jungle all of these things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I didnt access my port myself and consistently giving myself my treatment.