My name is Linda Wild and I am in my 70s.
My father had haemophilia so we were used to seeing him with nose bleeds, bleeding after tooth extractions and bruising, to name but a few things.
From my childhood I always seemed to have bruising, and especially bleeding after tooth extraction, cuts or anything similar.
When I started my periods at 14 years of age, I was very afraid at the amount of blood I was losing but had to get used to it as at that time its wasn’t recognised that girls and women bled too!
Life went on as normal, however at 16, I was taken into hospital for a tooth extraction where sadly it went wrong, they could not stop me from bleeding.
When I was discharged my father asked for tests and at that point, we saw Professor Turner who said I was classed as a bleeder.
I then went on with life avoiding anything which would make me bleed and putting up with the heavy periods and the problems associated with bleeding.
When I was 30, I was having our youngest child and at 28 weeks as he was distressed, they decided to do a C section. They took me to theatre where things went badly wrong and I ended up fighting for my life. At that point they sent for a team from Leeds General Infirmary who thankfully dealt with the severe bleeding and saved me.
Both my father and my husband then demanded answers, my father was quite adamant that I had a form of haemophilia and just because I was a woman why was it not recognised? Further tests with Oxford, Leeds and Bradford were carried out and the diagnosis was Von Willebrand Disease. I had a hysterectomy which helped enormously.
Meeting Dr Parapia and his team at the Bradford Royal Infirmary was a life changing time and from then on, my life changed for the better.
Life has passed by and with the right treatment and care I continue to enjoy life.
I am proud to be the Ambassador for Talking Red – this enables me to be able to spread the word that girls and women can bleed too.
I know from personal experience how isolating it can be having a condition that many people don’t understand. And because of the rare nature of bleeding disorders, you may never meet anyone else with the same condition.
However, I feel lucky because I know I have a bleeding disorder and, as well as getting the treatment I need, I have the support of The Haemophilia Society and our community. It is estimated that thousands of women don’t know they are affected so could be unnecessarily suffering in silence or even putting their lives at risk.
That is why Talking Red is such an important campaign for our community to get behind.
There are so many ways for you to promote awareness about bleeding disorders in women. Whether you want to hold a big red party or prefer to put up a poster in your local area, every action will help The Haemophilia Society to support more women in the future.
Thanks for getting involved, and don’t forget to Text TALKINGRED to 70085 to donate £3!