A leukaemia survivor has thanked donors to a major Sheffield Hospitals Charity appeal for making her life saving treatment more comfortable.
Sarah Fulcher, aged 34, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) six years ago after suffering repeated bouts of tonsillitis and being constantly tired.
Sarah underwent a successful stem cell transplant at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and now wants to raise awareness of how charity funding enhance the care of patients receiving life-saving care.
Sarah said: “I was at the hospital recently and saw one of the charity pop up banners, which had a photo of me when I was receiving treatment. It seems surreal to see that now. I look totally unrecognisable and it just shows the progress that I have made.
“When I was diagnosed with AML it was a complete shock and I don’t think it sunk in for a long time. My husband, Marc, felt like he’d been hit by a tonne of bricks.
“I was initially in hospital for four months, where I had to remain in isolation due to the risk of picking up an infection. This was an incredibly lonely time, and while it is of the utmost importance during treatment, it is also vital that you still have the support network of your friends and family around you.
“Having a private room was brilliant, as it meant I had my own space and privacy. I could relax more easily and I didn't have to feel self-conscious about being on a ward with other patients.
“In hospital, you often can’t see out of a window and you are surrounded by stark white walls, sometimes for several weeks. This can be quite depressing.
“Thanks to charity funding I was able to watch TV when I wanted, in a nicely decorated room, with access to Wi-Fi. I could keep in contact with friends and family via Skype. These kinds of distractions made the experience much more bearable.
“We now hope to start a family with the help of IVF.”
To donate funds to enhance the care of haematology patients, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/donate.