Seventeen year-old girl suffers from bizarre and horrific ailment that makes blood seep from her eyes and ears
It is a medical mystery that doctors and medical researchers simply cannot understand or figure out.
For some reason, a 17-year-old British girl often bleeds from her eyes and ears, a condition that keeps her “always in the house” and, as you might expect, friendless and without much of a social life.
As reported by the BBC, the girl, Marnie-Rae Harvey, has seen eye specialists, gynecologists, hematology experts, pediatricians and even neurologists, but none of them, thus far, has a clue about what is going on.
“It burns and then if it covers the pupils of my eye I can’t see,” she told the BBC’s Newsbeat, adding that the mystery ailment also affects her nose, gums, fingernails, scalp and tongue.
Going from bad to worse
Miss Harvey says that the bleeding began when she started coughing up blood in March 2013, a symptom that is horrifying and worrying in and of itself. She said that this symptom continued for a couple more years, but then she awoke in the middle of the night in July 2015 with her face covered in the blood which was seeping from an eye.
Her parents called an ambulance, but “the paramedics were just shocked because they’ve never seen it before,” she said.
“When I got to the hospital they looked in my eye but everything was clear. They can bleed and it can cover my face with blood and in seconds it’s just gone completely white back to normal,” Miss Harvey added. “I had blood tests and they came back fine.” Then, for two more weeks her eyes bled, every day.
“Then I was in the shop and both my eyes and ears started pouring and then we had to have an ambulance again,” she told Newsbeat.
Miss Harvey underwent a battery of tests and saw a number of specialists. Testing revealed that she had a weakened immune system, but nothing else was out of the ordinary. Hemolacria is a medical term for tears of blood, but it is a very rare condition. Causes of the phenomenon include injuries, clotting problems and disorders of the tear ducts and glands. Miss Harvey was tested – and cleared – for each of those conditions.
As the bleeding continues, Miss Harvey has essentially had to put her life on hold. She said she was unable to meet requirements to attend college, so she has to miss out on a higher education too, at least for now. And she says that the condition has left her regularly light-headed and lacking energy. She says her arms, legs and bones ache.
“People just stare and I can only walk so far without being sick,” she said. “I was at the hospital the other day and people were trying to take pictures and saying ‘urgh’ about my face and stuff.”
What’s more, the problems have only worsened recently.
Not confident about the treatment
“The last 12 days it’s been bleeding non-stop and everything’s been bleeding at once,” she said. “Normally it’ll bleed for about five minutes then stop for an hour but it’s been happening for half an hour and stopping for five minutes. I have to keep getting up in the night but I’m sick every day about five times.”
Help may be on the way, but it’s too soon to know for sure. Also, there are concerns that the cure may be worse, in some ways, than the disease. Doctors have administered an injection called Prostap 3 to stop Miss Harvey’s womb from working.
“I’ll be bothered about it but first I want to get this sorted,” she said.
It will be mid-April before Miss Harvey and her doctors know if the injection has worked. So far, however, she’s not optimistic.
“No, because the injection makes you go through menopause symptoms, I’m going through the symptoms like sweating and mood swings but I’m still bleeding,” she said after she was asked if she thought the treatment was working.
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