A teenage girl in India was told by doctors for five years that she was suffering from mental illness every time she complained about oozing blood, but now, one doctor has vowed to find a cure for her bizarre disorder.
Since 2009, 15-year-old Preeti Gupta of Dehli, India has suffered from an unknown condition that causes her to ooze blood from everywhere. When Gupta cries, her tears are blood; when she sweats, her sweat is blood, as well.
“When I saw blood, I panicked. I started crying and thinking what is wrong with me? What will happen to me?” recalled Gupta. “There were many questions in my mind but my dad reassured me that everything would be fine and convinced me it was an infection. I know when my eyes will start bleeding because they're really painful. But once the blood flows out the pain goes and they relax, it's like a build up of pressure and then it's gone. In other parts of my body like my legs, palms and feet, they start itching intolerably. It's like a burning sensation. And I sometimes get ulcers in my mouth before any bleeding starts. These are always the same symptoms, no matter how small, I know when the bleeding is about to start.”
For five years, doctors dismissed Gupta and told her that she was mentally ill. Gupta’s parents say that every day since the troubles began, they’ve all felt hopeless.
“Many doctors think that my daughter is mad but we have seen her suffer,” said her 35-year-old father Manoj Gupta. “We're desperate for her to live a normal life. We have no idea what is wrong with her and we just want a doctor to cure her. I've taken my daughter to the best ENT specialists, hematologists, medical specialists but doctors have failed to diagnose her condition. My daughter is a very intelligent girl. She is not lying about this bleeding in order to seek our attention. I have seen her going through the trauma.”
“I feel helpless when she starts bleeding all of a sudden and I cannot do anything to stop it,” added Manoj.
Finally, after years, the Gupta family found the hope they needed in Dr. Shashidhar, a pediatric ENT consultant, who diagnosed her with a rare disorder called Haemolacria, and now, he’s vowed to do whatever it takes to cure her.
“As a physician, I'm emotionally attached to every case and as this child is one of the biggest challenges I have ever seen it intrigues me and I'll work much harder to help,” said Dr. Shashidhar.
Shashidhar says that no doctor has been able to pinpoint the cause of the condition, but he is actively working to do so.