A dad said he broke down in tears after learning his daughter's headaches were actually a life-threatening condition.
Kris Foulgar-Roberts, 43, said his daughter Milly Roberts, 16, had been suffering with headaches, bruising more easily and struggling with her energy levels.
After initial tests, doctors thought it could be migraines due to the severity of her pain, but following further investigation, Kris said he received a call while he was out shopping.
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He said: "Were were told Milly was severely anaemic and needed to go straight to Arrowe Park Hospital for a blood transfusion.
"While we were there they said she needed to be transferred to the Oncology unit at Alder Hey - I knew straight away something was very wrong, my heart just dropped."
Fearing the worst, Kris, from Birkenhead,Wirral, Milly and her mum, Lynn Roberts, 44, had an agonising wait while doctors tried to figure out what was wrong.
Kris, also dad to Isaac, 21, said: "Milly was sent for a bone marrow biopsy, which they take from your hip during surgery - it is quite an unpleasant procedure and the first one didn't produce enough for them to test so she had to have another one.
"This is over weeks - weeks of waiting.
"I remember when she went down for her operation I was just left on the ward and I just broke down in tears - but the staff at Alder Hey have been amazing, Ian, a nurse practitioner sat with me for half an hour and talked me through what was happening.
"Every single one of them at the hospital is incredible, I can't thank them enough."
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It was revealed Milly had aplastic anaemia, a condition where the body's bone marrow and stem cells don't produce enough blood cells.
Kris said: "It is a condition more closely related to leukaemia rather than anaemia.
"There are different degrees of it with some people only needing a blood transfusion every few weeks, but Milly's is severe, she needs three to four transfusions a week and is very susceptible to infection because she doesn't produce a lot of white blood cells.
"When she is home we take over doing her observations and if her temperature gets too high we have to go straight to Alder Hey and she is given antibiotics because a small infection that most people wouldn't notice could be very bad for Milly because of her compromised immune system.
"It makes her blood so thin that it is almost like it leaks through her skin, so we know her blood count is low when she gets a blood rash.
"It also means if she gets a cut she just doesn't stop bleeding because her blood is so thin."
Milly now needs a bone marrow transplant which will mean up to three months in clinical isolation at Manchester's children's hospital.
They want her mum, who works at a school, to be able to stay with her through the process but will mean taking more time off so Kris, a chef, set up a GoFundMe to help with costs.
He said: "We have had to take a lot of time off work and spent a lot of time travelling, all our money we had put away for a holiday with Milly and for her driving lessons has be used and we have struggled with the financial burden.
"Milly now needs eight days of chemotherapy first to basically give the donor cells a clean slate so that they have a better chance of working.
"Then after the transplant, she will need to be in isolation with no windows and filtered air because she will effectively have no immune system.
"The response to the GoFundMe has been incredible, old friends have donated and people who don't even know Milly - we have been overwhelmed."
The hope is once Milly has gone through the transplant she will be able to lead a normal life, despite being on medication to boost her immune system and an increased risk of other blood conditions such as leukaemia.
Kris said: "Milly was very scared at first when we thought it was leukaemia because a close friend of hers had died of cancer.
"But she is one of the strongest people I have ever met. She has always been the apple of my eye, but now she has turned into my hero.
"Apart from being fed up she has coped extremely well, she completed a whole collage course from her hospital bed with distinctions.
"She is so resilient - and much stronger than me."
You can find Kris's GoFundMe here
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