Merk argiewe: waarheid

Ek het my 'sproete' aangeneem’ was van sport beoefen, maar was geskok oor die waarheid

A WOMAN who thought marks on her skin were from playing sport was shocked to be told the true cause.

Helaina Hillyard, 20, went to hospital as soon as they appeared, but was told if she waited any longer, she would have faced life-threatening consequences.

Helaina Hillyard, 20

Helaina Hillyard, 20Krediet: Jam Press
Some of the dots that came up on Helaina's body

Some of the dots that came up on Helaina’s bodyKrediet: Jam Press

She noticed the freckle-like spots and bruises on her body after getting back from basketball practice one evening in November 2021.

Within a few hours, the spots had increased in size and were scattered across her body, covering her arms and legs.

The athletic student, from Iowa, VSA, decided to go to the hospital with her sister to get checked.

While there, she took a video showing where all the large purple bruises and small pin-prick red dots had emerged in just a few hours.

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But never in a million years did Helaina expect the diagnosis she got.

She was sent to the emergency room, where blood work showed her blood levels were extremely low.

The doctor explained the dots on her skin were petechiae which appear as a result of internal bleeding.

Helaina was transferred to another hospital where she saw a Kanker specialist.

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It was then she was given the devastating news that she had B-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) – blood cancer.

ALL is the most common type of cancer in children. It affects certain cells in the immune system, called B cells and T cells.

The symptoms of B-Cell ALL include bleeding or bruising more often than usual, tiredness, loss of appetite and increased infections.

The only signs of Helaina’s illness were the strange dots. Otherwise, Helaina felt fit and well.

“I was in disbelief and shock,” Helaina said.

“I could have nearly died if I waited a few more hours to go to the doctor.

“The doctor in the ER said I was extremely lucky I hadn’t played basketball [since that day] because I could have easily suffered a brain bleed or internal bleeding.

“I never in a million years could think something like this could happen to anyone in my life let alone myself.”

Helaina immediately started treatment with blood transfusions and chemotherapy – which she currently receives every 10 dae.

While she was terrified to receive the shocking news, Helaina had faith that she would get through it and recover.

She has put her studies on hold and says she is currently focusing on taking things one day at a time.

She shared the shocking story of how she came to be diagnosed with cancer on TikTok.

A clip of the night she was admitted to hospital went viral, met 5.9 million views and racking up more than 500,000 hou van.

Despite the scare, Helaina wanted to share her story in the hopes of raising awareness.

Sy het gese: “I wanted to show it’s possible to try to keep a positive spin on things no matter how bleak things may seem.

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“I received lots of different reactions. I unintentionally scared some people -and worried some that their spots might be cancer and they reached out to me with questions.

“But I also received so many nice supportive messages and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

While at hospital, Helaina took a video showing where all the large purple bruises and small pin-prick red dots had emerged in just a few hours

While at hospital, Helaina took a video showing where all the large purple bruises and small pin-prick red dots had emerged in just a few hoursKrediet: Jam Press
The bruising on Helaina's shin

The bruising on Helaina’s shinKrediet: Jam Press
Helaina immediately started treatment with blood transfusions and chemotherapy

Helaina immediately started treatment with blood transfusions and chemotherapyKrediet: Jam Press
Helaina said: “The doctor in the ER said I was extremely lucky I hadn’t played basketball [since that day] because I could have easily suffered a brain bleed or internal bleeding"

Helaina said: “The doctor in the ER said I was extremely lucky I hadn’t played basketball [since that day] because I could have easily suffered a brain bleed or internal bleedingKrediet: Jam Press