Washington mum’s relief as four-year-old daughter is treated at St Oswald’s Hospice for lymphoedema

A Washington mum has opened up on what it is like having a child who has lymphoedema – a long-term condition which causes swelling in the body's tissues.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 12:00 am

Donna Stanger from Washington has revealed what it is like having a child with lymphoedema after her four-year-old daughter, Violett, was diagnosed with the illness when she was just 18-months-old.

Lymphoedema is a chronic and permanent swelling which is often painful and can affect any area of the body, with Violett being affected in her left leg.

Violett first starting showing symptoms of the disease shortly after birth however the family were unable to get answers straight away.

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Violett's mum, Donna, has spoken of the relief she felt when Violett was diagnosed at 18-months-old.

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Donna has described the frustrating time that the family went through shortly after her daughter’s birth and described what she felt like when Violett was finally diagnosed.

The 35-year-old full-time mum said: “We didn’t know why her leg and foot were so big, it was really worrying because it was so purple and we didn’t know if she would need it amputated or not.

"It was such a frustrating time as we couldn’t get any answers as to what was wrong with Violett.

Violett with the nurses from St Oswald's Hospice.

"So when she was diagnosed with lymphoedema and transferred to St Oswald's for treatment, it was such a massive relief.

Violett is currently undergoing bandaging treatment at St Oswald's Hospice which aims to reduce the level of swelling but despite her condition, Violett just takes it all in her stride, living a happy life with her older siblings Sharron, 16, Harvey, 14, and Aaron, 11.

Donna added: “She is a normal, happy four-year-old who does everything that you’d expect a four-year-old to do.

"When she was 18-months-old, she couldn’t crawl or walk but now she is up and about, climbing on everything, she’s very happy and healthy.

“Violett has been starting to put her bandages on herself, which she loves doing, she bandages her ‘little’ leg while nurses Kath and Jill bandage her ‘big’ leg.

“She even brings the end rolls home to bandage her dolls.”

Jill Lisle, Senior Sister at St Oswald’s Hospice, has outlined what the symptoms of the illness are and is urging anyone with ‘unexplained’ swelling to see their GP.

Jill commented: “Lymphoedema is a chronic and permanent swelling which can affect any area of the body, most commonly the limbs.

“It is often thought of as a rare condition, however, at least 400,000 men, women and children in the UK live with lymphoedema.

“This Lymphoedema Awareness Week we are increasing awareness of the condition as unfortunately the condition often goes undiagnosed for some time.

"So, if you notice unexplained swelling, please speak to your GP and if necessary ask to be referred to a specialist clinic.”

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