Why Me­gan’s on a mis­sion...

Now teen’s on a mis­sion to pre­vent other girls suf­fer­ing what she went through

Solihull News - - FRONT PAGE - ZOE CHAM­BER­LAIN zoe. cham­ber­[email protected] reach­plc. com

WHEN 15- year- old Me­gan Bid­dle stood in her school uni­form cry­ing on a ma­ter­nity ward, peo­ple might have as­sumed it was be­cause she was preg­nant. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

The Soli­hull school­girl had just been told she needed to have her se­cond ovary re­moved, which meant she was un­likely ever to be able to have a baby.

Me­gan had al­ready had to have her right ovary re­moved at the age of 14 after doc­tors found a tu­mour the size of a grape­fruit.

She had been com­plain­ing to her GP about crip­pling pe­riod pain for months and her mum Tina even­tu­ally de­cided to pay for her to be treated pri­vately.

Shock­ingly, the sur­geon said that, had they left it any longer, the tu­mour might have burst and killed Me­gan.

Yet Me­gan and her mum had to fight for treat­ment all the way through be­cause gy­nae­co­log­i­cal is­sues like these are so rare in young girls.

Hav­ing sur­vived, Me­gan, now 16, who has a brother Ryan, 19, has de­cided to make it her mis­sion to en­sure that other girls do not face the same strug­gle.

Me­gan, who won a Coura­geous Kids Award in Birm­ing­ham last month, is now set­ting up a char­ity to build a gy­nae­co­log­i­cal unit for chil­dren at Heart­lands Hos­pi­tal, where the sur­geon who saved her life is based.

She re­called: “My pe­ri­ods were so heavy and painful that I’d be curled up on the floor and un­able to stand up prop­erly.”

She went to the GP and tried the med­i­ca­tion she was given but it didn’t help. Even­tu­ally, she was re­ferred for an ul­tra­sound scan but that took three months to come through

“It turned out that I had a tu­mour the size of a grape­fruit. It was 10cm wide,” she said. “They put a red alarm on my scan but I was told I’d still have to be put on a wait­ing list to have it re­moved.

“My mum spoke to a nurse about it, and was told I needed to get it out straight away be­cause it was full of toxic fluid. If it burst, it could get into my blood­stream and kill me.

“But my GP didn’t re­ally know what to do be­cause it’s not some­thing you re­ally see in teenagers.

“My mum is a work­ing sin­gle mum. We’re not rich. But she paid for me to see a pri­vate doc­tor called Dr Irani at Spire Park­way in Soli­hull .

“She told me she needed to take away my right ovary com­pletely. I was so scared but she saved my life.

“She said she didn’t know how I’d even been walk­ing, let alone danc­ing and car­ry­ing on with my life.

“She called me a mir­a­cle, and said I was her youngest pa­tient to have had that hap­pen. No one knows why.”

Me­gan’s tu­mour was sent off for tests. Thank­fully, it was be­nign.

“It did cause me a lot of anx­i­ety,” she said. “I lost the back part of my hair and I be­came re­ally self- con­scious. My scars didn’t help. I al­ready had scars on my shoul­ders be­cause I’d had to have ear­lier op­er­a­tions.

“Now, I had scars on my stom­ach and, as a young teen, that’s not right. I dealt with it and got bet­ter but then, in Feb­ru­ary 2016, I started get­ting pains again.

“No one be­lieved it could be hap­pen­ing to me again be­cause it was so rare the first time.

“I had to beg my doc­tor for a scan and I went for one three months later. It showed I had an­other mass, this time a 6cm cyst on my left ovary.

“I’d al­ready lost my right ovary and knew, if I lost my left one, I was never go­ing to be able to have chil­dren. That’s a lot to take on when you’re 15 years old.

“I had to have my pre- op ob­ser­va­tions taken and the only place that could be done was on the ma­ter­nity ward. I re­mem­ber be­ing stood there in my school uni­form cry­ing, feel­ing judged by all the preg­nant women around me who thought I was a preg­nant teenager when ac­tu­ally I was cry­ing be­cause I thought I’d never be able to have kids.”

Dr Irani re­ferred her to a spe­cial­ist in Ox­ford who takes eggs from chil­dren who are hav­ing chemo­ther­apy so they still have a chance of hav­ing a baby later.

After her surgery, this time at Heart­lands Hos­pi­tal, she was told her cyst hadn’t grown over her ovary so they hadn’t had to re­move all of it.

“I was over the moon,” she said. “It meant I could still try to con­ceive on my own but I also had IVF eggs if I needed them.

“The doc­tor said I’d be bed­bound for some time but, three days later, I had my GCSE English lit­er­a­ture exam – I took it early in Year 10 – so I hob­bled and dragged my­self into school. The teach­ers told me to go home but I wanted to do it.

“I can’t re­mem­ber a word I wrote but I passed. That felt like such an achieve­ment.”

Go­ing into Year 11, Me­gan suf­fered more anx­i­ety be­cause she feared it was go­ing to hap­pen again and this time dur­ing her main GCSEs. She started see­ing a coun­sel­lor and was di­ag­nosed with de­pres­sion and PTSD.

She did well in her GCSEs, though, es­pe­cially dance, which boosted her con­fi­dence, es­pe­cially as she’d been told to give up her dream of be­com­ing a dancer due to hy­per­mo­bil­ity is­sues.

“Ev­ery­one just thought I had bad pe­riod pains,” she said “If we hadn’t have pushed for a scan and my tu­mour had burst, I could have died. We had to pay thou­sands of pounds to save my life.”

Now she is launch­ing her own char­ity to raise money for a chil­dren’s gy­nae­col­ogy unit at Heart­lands Hos­pi­tal.

“It will be a place to go where kids will feel safe and looked after, and some­one will say you’ll be OK, rather than be­ing left to think I’m go­ing to die,” she ex­plained

“I know I’ve got to raise a lot of money but I’m pre­pared to do it. I’m plan­ning a fes­ti­val at my sixth- form and school, Alder­brook in Soli­hull, in Feb­ru­ary to raise funds.

“Peo­ple don’t re­ally know about child gy­nae­col­ogy prob­lems so I want to raise aware­ness by talk­ing about what hap­pened to me in schools, too.

“I’m just a nor­mal girl and if this hap­pened to me, it can hap­pen to any­one.”

Me­gan Bid­dle is set­ting up a char­ity to raise funds for a gy­nae­co­log­i­cal unit for chil­dren at Heart­lands Hos­pi­tal, and ( in­set) at the Coura­geous Kids Awards

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