Health News

Woman who thought rash was 'harmless' rushed to hospital with rare condition

When 21-year-old Juliana Pascarella first noticed little red spots on her body, she put it down to a ‘harmless’ rash.

But within 15 minutes she experienced bruises and swelling, a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop, and a scab appearing on her lip.

Juliana, from Virginia, was taken to hospital and diagnosed with ITP – a rare blood disorder caused by a low number of platelets in the blood.

The condition can be very serious and lead to internal bleeding and, in Juliana’s case, doctors said her brain could haemorrhage – which she may not survive.

‘Knowing that my brain could haemorrhage at any second and I could lose my life really showed me a new perspective on life,’ student Juliana tells

‘The hematologist told me that I needed to be moved upstairs immediately because my platelets in my blood were at a low of 3,000 (when a normal count is between 150,000 to 450,000.)

‘After running more tests, he said I was lucky I wasn’t internally bleeding, and that if I hadn’t come to the hospital there’s a high chance I couldn’t be saved. I felt overwhelmed and scared.’

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a webbrowser thatsupports HTML5video

Juliana had never heard of ITP before her diagnosis and felt ‘frightened’ not knowing where it came from – although she realised it fitted with other symptoms she had been experiencing, such as fatigue, pale skin, and loss of appetite.

Medics said she needed to be treated straight away with a blood transfusion.

She adds: ‘The nights of IVIG transfusion treatments were the worst, it is a therapy treatment for patients with antibody deficiencies, but I knew it was the only thing that was helping me.

‘Having someone else’s plasma enter into my body over three separate seven-hour periods was a lot to take in.

‘Completely replacing my own blood with someone else’s was something I just couldn’t wrap my head around, and the process was consistently nauseating and painful.’

Juliana adds that living with ITP can be really ‘scary’ as it’s not a genetic condition and there is no known cause.

She adds: ‘Medically, the “I” in “ITP” stands for idiopathic – meaning doctors are unaware of the cause of the condition.

‘This makes it a bit harder to understand why my body was not creating enough platelets and makes it even harder to prevent another episode.’

As Juliana hadn’t heard on ITP when she got her diagnosis, she took to TikTok to share her experience – in the hope it would raise awareness. Her video has now received more than two million views and 200,000 likes.

The student adds that her perspective on life has changed completely since her diagnosis.

Juliana continues: ‘Being a young female entering her 20’s, I realised that life is not guaranteed and I have to make the most of what the universe has provided me. I must take care of my body and look out for myself, as well as others.

‘This experience was life changing, and although it was one of the worst, I’m glad to have a set diagnosis.

‘I can be prepared for future episodes and help others understand a condition I once knew nothing about.’

She also hopes it will encourage others to speak up about their health if they think something is wrong.

Juliana adds: ‘You should always be aware of your own body. Our brains tell our body when something is wrong, and if we don’t pay attention or brush it off like it is nothing, it can be life threatening.

‘Always look for fast-appearing marks and bruises, and pay attention to the way you feel physically.

‘If you have an idea that something may be off, find a medical professional, ask questions, do your research, and most importantly, take care of yourself and get the treatment you need before it’s too late.’

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

Source: Read Full Article