- Kirsten Hawksey, from Liverpool, diagnosed with Leukaemia on November 27
- Mother of 15-month-old Penelope saw bruises on legs which initially ignored
- Began chemotherapy but got an infection that caused immune system to crash
- In last Facebook post thanked friends for telling her to get symptoms checked
Published: 16:52 EST, 28 December 2017 | Updated: 16:55 EST, 28 December 2017
Kirsten Hawksey, from Liverpool, was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia on November 27
A 23-year-old mother died on Christmas Day less than four weeks after she was diagnosed with blood cancer when she asked medics to look at bruises on her legs.
Kirsten Hawksey, who 'idolised' her 15-month-old daughter Penelope, was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia on November 27.
In her last post on Facebook, Ms Hawksey, from Liverpool, thanked her family and friends for persuading her to go to the doctors and urged people to 'not ignore any symptom'.
Her father Neil said his 'gorgeous and strong-willed' daughter had noticed bruising on her legs which she initially ignored.
After the bruising worsened Ms Hawksey went to the doctors and, following blood tests, was immediately admitted to the Royal to begin chemotherapy.
But, on Christmas Eve, Ms Hawksey – who celebrated her birthday just weeks earlier – contracted a lung infection and was transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital, in Greater Manchester.
Her immune system had crashed and the young mother was put on life support and a lung-bypass machine.
After the bruising worsened Ms Hawksey(pictured with her daughter, Penelope) went to the doctors and, following blood tests, was immediately admitted to the Royal to begin chemotherapy
On December 25, Ms Hawksey suffered a bleed on the brain and later that day her family made the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life support machine.
Now her family want to help spread her last message.
Neil Hawksey said: 'We didn't even know she had posted that message on Facebook – Kirsten was very private so it was a massive shock that she had.
'But she obviously wanted to raise awareness and that is why we are speaking out to honour her wishes.'
The 39-year-old, from Crosby, said his daughter felt perfectly 'normal' in the days leading up to her diagnosis, apart from noticing some unexplained bruising.
He said: 'She was fit and well apart from this bruising.
In her last post on Facebook, Ms Hawksey thanked her family and friends for persuading her to go to the doctors
'We said 'go to the doctors' but she said 'I'm alright' – she just thought it was from the baby.
'But it got to the point when she was in the house and she showed us her legs and we said you need to do to the doctors.
'The bruises looked like – what I can only describe as when you have been paintballing.
'Doctors asked her if she had felt tired and she said "yes but not exceptionally so".
'She had a 15-month-old daughter and worked full time – she was bound to be tired. We thought she could be anaemic or something.
'She actually Googled the symptom and it came back saying leukaemia. But it was just laughed off, because she wasn't sick.'
After a week or so of being pestered by her friends and family Ms Hawksey, a dental nurse, eventually went to the doctors.
Following blood tests doctors delivered the devastating news she had Acute promyelocytic leukaemia – a cancer of the white blood cells.
However, despite the seriousness of her condition, Mr Hawksey said his daughter remained positive.
On December 25, Ms Hawksey suffered a bleed on the brain and later that day her family made the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life support machine
'It was weird hearing the doctors say how ill she actually was, because she was sitting there laughing and joking with me.
'Kirsten was not the type of girl who would moan or complain.
'She wasn't a "why me?" type. She was so strong willed and she just planned to fight it and get on with life.
'She would never have given up fighting because of her daughter – she idolised her and completely loved her to bits.
Ms Hawksey's family want to raise awareness about the symptoms of Leukemia following her tragic death
'But sadly things were taken out of her control.'
Mr Hawksey, who also has a 16-year-old son Jack, said it was 'catastrophic' when doctors told him and wife Emma that their daughter had suffered a bleed on the brain.
He said the whole family just felt 'completely numb', adding: 'It doesn't feel real at the moment to be honest.
'When we were told it was leukaemia I asked "why Kirsten? Was it anything she did?" But doctors said she is just unlucky.
'There is no reason. She wasn't a smoker – she drank very little, she was a hardworking, loving and gorgeous mum, daughter and granddaughter.'
Mr Hawksey added: 'We would not usually speak out like this but it was Kirsten's last wish.
'We have had so much support from family and friends and have even had messages from people who don't even know us which is overwhelming.
'We are devastated and I don't know what we would have done without Penelope. But we will make sure she never forgets her mum.'
WHAT IS ACUTE PROMYELOCYTIC LEUKAEMIA?
Acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APML) is a rare and aggressive form of the blood cancer
Leukaemia is cancer of the white blood cells. Acute leukaemia means the condition progresses rapidly and aggressively, requiring immediate treatment.
Acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APML) is a rare form of the Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), the form of the disease which affects the myeloid cells.
APML accounts for around 10 -15 per cent of all cases of AML.
The myleloid cells perform a number of different functions, such as fighting bacterial infections, defending the body against parasites and preventing the spread of tissue damage.
In APML a change in a specific chromosome leads to a changes in white blood cells called Promyelocyte cells, which means they do not progress to maturity.
This leads to a bleeding disorder due to abnormal clotting.
The symptoms include pale skin, tiredness, breathlessness, frequent infections, and unusual and frequent bleeding, such as bleeding gums or nosebleeds.
The main treatment for AML is chemotherapy, which is used to kill as many leukaemia cells in your body as possible and reduce the risk of the condition coming back (relapsing).
In some cases, intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be needed, in combination with a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, to achieve a cure.
Studies have shown that people with acute promyeloid leukaemia (APML), around 85 per cent will live for at least five years with treatment.
Source: NHS Choices
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Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms
The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.
The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.
All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.
It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.
British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.
The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.
The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.
It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.
“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.
“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”
The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.
It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128
Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official
Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.
The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.
Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.
Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.
“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.
“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.
Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”
However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.
Australia’s tight restrictions
The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.
Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.
A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.
Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.
Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.
Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.
Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.
The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.
While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.
Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.
In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581
Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection
The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.
Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.
Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.
It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.
The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.
Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”
“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.
“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”
Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.
Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.
For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.
Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.
A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.
Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane
Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane
At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.
When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.
Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.
While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.
But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.
And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.
And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836
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