Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Girl Who Cries And Sweats BLOOD: Indian Teenager’s Family Finally Gets Help After Doctors Dismiss Her Bizarre Symptoms As Mental Illness For Five Years

  • Preeti Gupta, 15, began to ooze blood from her eyes and skin
  • Strange phenomenon began after she was violently sick one day in 2009
  • For five years doctors in her native India dismissed her unusual condition
  • But now Dr Shashidhar is determined to cure and give her a normal life

A teenage girl who cries and sweats blood has been dismissed by medics as suffering from a mental illness for five years.

Finally, one doctor has vowed to cure her incredible condition.

Preeti Gupta, 15, from Delhi, India, has suffered from the bizarre illness since she was violently sick one day in November 2009 and her eyes and skin began to ooze blood.

Her parents took her to hospital, assuming it was an infection and confident it would be cured.

Now, five years later, they have pinned their hopes on a top doctor in Delhi.
'Many doctors think that my daughter is mad but we have seen her suffer,' said Manoj Gupta, 35.

'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.'

Preeti, who's in and out of secondary school, said: 'When I saw blood, I panicked. I started crying and thinking what is wrong with me? What will happen to me?

'There were many questions in my mind but my dad reassured me that everything would be fine and convinced me it was an infection.'

For the next 12 months the strange symptoms did not occur.

But in 2010, it started again - blood seeped from her ears, scalp, fingernails, hands, legs, balls of her feet and eyes.

She added: '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.'

This phenomenon, which is only experienced by a handful of people around the world, has left Preeti depressed and reluctant to mix with friends and live a normal teenage life.

'I used to think why is this happening to me? Is there anything wrong with me? I just couldn't believe that my eyes were bleeding. Was I a freak? Will I lose my eyesight? What will happen to me? But thankfully my eyesight is still perfect and I do not have any troubles with my hearing either,' Preeti said.

'My friends are thankfully very supportive. They understand that I have a rare disease and have never embarrassed me.

'There have been times when my school shirt has turned red because of the bleeding but my teachers immediately send me to the medical room and call my parents.'

Her father, Manoj, who works for the government and earns 36,000 Rs a month (£370), has spent 700,000 Rs (£7,000) seeing hundreds of consultants all over India.

He said: '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. Many suggest she has psychiatric issues and have referred her to a psychiatrist.

'Some of them accuse her of scratching her skin so bad it bleeds or killing animals and smearing their blood all over her body. But who would ever do such a thing to draw attention?

'They say no such disease exist in the world and turn us away. It's a failure of the medical science that no reason has found for this condition.'

The bleeding it is not typical blood, he said. It's a mix of liquid and quite thin, and the flow can last one or two hours, or days.

Preeti added: 'Some people have said ghosts or evil spirits possesses me. It's been terrifying.

'I don't know what I'd do without my dad. He's my biggest support. He's made me strong emotionally and has always assured me that I am just a normal girl. He tells me I will fine soon. And I trust he will not stop until someone helps me.'

Manoj had spent many sleepless nights along with his wife Jyoti, 34, researching their daughter's nightmare.

'I couldn't find anyone else with the same disease as my daughter but recently I got the chance to meet the mother of a girl who is also suffering the same. It was a huge relief.

'I came to know about Dr Shashidhar through a newspaper article. He is the first doctor who has given us some hope. It's been a long fight but we will fight confidently and one day we will succeed. I have confidence in this doctor and I believe he will cure my daughter.'

Dr Shashidhar, a Paediatric ENT Consultant, at Artemis Hospital, in Delhi, said: 'This child has a very mysterious disorder called Haemolacria, which essentially means that the child has spontaneous episodes of bleeding from anywhere in the body.

'It can be the eyes, forehead, ears, and nose. It may involve certain systems like sweat glands or the capillary systems because after the bleeding there is absolutely no bruise, no cuts, and no marks.

'It's such an enigmatic condition that we know very little. No scientific doctor has been able to pinpoint this condition.

'While the reason for this condition is not known, calling the patient an attention seeker would be wrong. I have seen her bleeding from the palms, eyes and ears during and I can say that this disorder definitely exists but we are yet to find out the reasons for it.

'Even if it is a psychiatric condition, I am interested to know why? Until we get to the bottom of this case I will not stop.

'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.'


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