My name is Neythra and I am 13 years old. I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia January 2014.
I love to tap dance, but in some of my lessons I got an unbearable neck pain and couldn’t continue. It was late at night on 17 December that I got my first idea that something was wrong; I couldn’t feel my legs and I started to cry. My mum and dad rushed to the room and helped me to sit up. After a short while my numbness resolved. But within a short while I had a facial drop on the right side of my face and lost all sensation. My heart was pounding. My mum and dad, who are both physiotherapists, thought I had a stroke and called the ambulance immediately.
Before I knew it, the ambulance crew was putting all sorts of funny equipment on me. I heard the machine beeping and I stared at the luminous blue lines that were bobbing up and down on the screen. I didn’t know what they meant but I knew there was something wrong, I could feel it. A woman from the ambulance crew asked me what my best friend’s name was. I knew what it was but I just couldn’t get it out. That was the worst feeling in the world.
Off to hospital
We were given a room at the hospital and stayed there for around four weeks. The doctors thought it could be encephalitis or meningitis. They soon found out that pressure in my brain was really high. I had my first lumbar puncture to relieve the pressure. Soon after, I had a line inserted in my hand for medication. To take away the pain they gave me laughing gas and I couldn’t stop laughing. We hoped to get home for Christmas but it just didn’t happen; I was vomiting anything I ate up and couldn’t even keep a mouthful of Christmas dinner down.