- 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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Australia resists calls for tougher climate targets
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has resisted pressure to set more ambitious carbon emission targets while other major nations vowed deeper reductions to tackle climate change.
Addressing a global climate summit, Mr Morrison said Australia was on a path to net zero emissions.
But he stopped short of setting a timeline, saying the country would get there “as soon as possible”.
It came as the US, Canada and Japan set new commitments for steeper cuts.
US President Joe Biden, who chaired the virtual summit, pledged to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the year 2030. This new target essentially doubles the previous US promise.
By contrast, Australia will stick with its existing pledge of cutting carbon emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels, by 2030. That’s in line with the Paris climate agreement, though Mr Morrison said Australia was on a pathway to net zero emissions.
“Our goal is to get there as soon as we possibly can, through technology that enables and transforms our industries, not taxes that eliminate them and the jobs and livelihoods they support and create,” he told the summit.
“Future generations… will thank us not for what we have promised, but what we deliver.”
Australia is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters on a per capita basis. Mr Morrison, who has faced sustained criticism over climate policy, said action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would focus on technology.
The prime minister said Australia is deploying renewable energy 10 times faster than the global average per person, and has the highest uptake of rooftop solar panels in the world.
Mr Morrison added Australia would invest $20bn ($15.4bn; 11.1bn) “to achieve ambitious goals that will bring the cost of clean hydrogen, green steel, energy storage and carbon capture to commercial parity”.
“You can always be sure that the commitments Australia makes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are bankable.”
Australia has seen growing international pressure to step up its efforts to cut emissions and tackle global warming. The country has warmed on average by 1.4 degrees C since national records began in 1910, according to its science and weather agencies. That’s led to an increase in the number of extreme heat events, as well as increased fire danger days.
Ahead of the summit, President Biden’s team urged countries that have been slow to embrace action on climate change to raise their ambition. While many nations heeded the call, big emitters China and India also made no new commitments.
“Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade – this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” President Biden said at the summit’s opening address.
Referring to America’s new carbon-cutting pledge, President Biden added: “The signs are unmistakable, the science is undeniable, and the cost of inaction keeps mounting.”
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-56854558
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
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