Like myself and many others, we have already paid with our lives. Your simple action today can save many others. They used to say "The pen is mightier than the sword" and in today’s world it is your mouse click that can change the course of history.
My Name is Nikita and this is my story. I dreamt of the perfect house, the perfect husband and beautiful children whose names I had already chosen. My two main goals for the near future were to graduate from the University of Portsmouth and visit Disneyland, Florida for my twenty first. Both achievable for a young hardworking, bubbly young girl you would have thought! But, it was not to be. I passed away just ten days from my twentieth birthday, never thought my life would be cut so short. All my dreams crushed so suddenly.
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the tender age of three. The main symptoms were chronic tummy pains leading to bloody diarrhoea often rushing to the toilet many, many times a day. Not something I could share easily with my classmates but I’m pretty sure I managed to keep it from them. I tried my best to be a normal child living with such a disease, together with a lifelong list of medications, hospital appointments, blood tests and blood transfusions. The stress caused havoc to my education, but I was determined to push through my pain threshold and focus my energy on my goals and dreams.
My cancer misdiagnosis started mid 2010 till mid 2012. Just looking at a few bare facts puts me in the high risk category for getting cancer:-
1. Having Ulcerative Colitis.
2. Side effects of many Ulcerative Colitis medications namely Azathioprine, Remicade.
3. Repeated visits to the doctors over the two-year period showing the classic symptoms of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
Yet, the doctors and medical experts did not pick up these above points until too late. Due to this medical error, I suffered immensely. Over this two year period in and out of hospital, I spent two weeks in critical care in December 2011, inches away from death. It was June 2012 at this very late stage I was finally diagnosed correctly with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
Due to the late diagnosis, my poor little body had already suffered a substantial pounding, which severely weakened me, decreasing my chances of dealing with the upcoming chemotherapy. I received three out of the five rounds of chemotherapy before I ended up in critical care again due complications and placed on life support. I only had about six weeks to live after being diagnosed, never did I say why me? I had every faith that medical science would fix me, never did I think negligence or sloppiness from the doctors would have led to this.
Parents are simply not supposed to outlive their children and no parent is prepared for a child's death. My death is still difficult for my loved ones as I was just beginning to reach my potential and become an independent individual. Not only did they lose a child, but also a close friend. They grieve the loss of the hopes and dreams I had, as well as the potential that will never be realised and the experiences we will never share. The pain of these losses will always be a part of them. I hope my memories of joyful moments they spent with me and the love we shared will live on and always be part of them.
"Nikita's graduation ceremony, which enriched our lives and made us even more proud of all that she has accomplished to date." Family of Nikita Mepani.
"Memories of a bright, friendly and talented young woman who has been an absolute credit to herself and her family." Stephen Arkle-Head of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences.
No! There will be thousands more, and it might be someone you know unless you act to change the system before it effects you.
There have been many mistakes and these will continue until you act. Stories similar to mine such as the experiences of Stephen Sutton will continue. "The father of Stephen Sutton, the fundraising teenager who died from bowel cancer said his son would still be alive today if doctors had been prepared to listen". http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11227707/Stephen-Suttons-father-If-doctors-had-listened-to-me-he-might-still-be-with-us.html
You wouldn't stand for it if this happened in another critical industry would you? Maybe we need something like the Airlines Aviation Safety team, an independent body who ensure mistakes and failures are investigated and prevented through regulation, education, and training.
Increased use of technology and data analytics could prevent such tragedy. Expert technology like IBM's Watson can mine patient data to find relevant facts about family history, current medication and other existing conditions and flag up danger signals and recommendations far more quickly and accurately than our current system. http://www-05.ibm.com/innovation/uk/watson/watson_in_healthcare.shtml
Can you imagine the existence of an independent body to learn from mistakes and failures from the NHS to ensure better healthcare for you and your family?
Can you imagine advanced technological solutions to flag disease, illness and complications before they happen to you or your children?
Can you imagine all the dreams you and your children have becoming a reality because you were given the gift of better medical care?
Your simple, quick and completely free action NOW can make what you imagine a reality, not just for you, but for every single person in the UK. All it takes is for you to TAKE ACTION BELOW.
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