By Síofra Grant
A young Kinnegad woman is amongst a small group of people in Ireland living with a condition that has always been under-diagnosed but which means that even the smallest scrape can result in heavy blood loss.
Shannon Carey (21) got her first diagnosis when she was one year old – however, she didn’t get a full diagnosis until she was seven. “I was always full of bruises, even the lightest tap could cause a bruise,” she says, and this is a common symptom with children with Von Willebrand Disorder (VWD).
“One time I got a small cut and it was like a scene from the movie Carrie,” she says, due to the amount of blood running down her face. For people with VWD, blood doesn’t clot due to a lack of the Von Willebrand factor; this leads to a lot more blood even from the smallest of scrapes.