Karyn Synnott, a mother of two from Hobart, knows that without pathology, her daughter Ashlee would not have been able to manage her Cystic Fibrosis and grow up to be such an “inspirational” young woman.
When Karyn gave birth to Ashlee, she conducted pathology testing for her baby and discovered Ashlee had Cystic Fibrosis where testing has played a pivotal role in Ashlee’s healthcare ever since.
Karyn is now able to view the world of pathology from the other side too. Since taking up an admin job at a pathology provider she sees every day how pathology helps thousands of other families just like her own.
“I can’t remember a time in Ashlee’s life when she wasn’t undergoing regular pathology tests to monitor her condition. She was diagnosed at five weeks old. It took six long weeks in hospital and three operations until we were finally able to take our beautiful daughter home.
Over the years we learned about the condition and how best to manage it. But then when Ashlee was 21 she underwent a double lung transplant. Less than a year later we were back in the hospital for a second transplant after the new lungs had started failing.
The operations were done in Melbourne which meant that on top of the indescribable fear of watching our daughter go through such a huge procedure we had the added stress (not to mention financial burden) of having to relocate to Melbourne for four months each time.”
Eight years on and Karyn is still relying on pathology to monitor her daughter’s health. Ashlee is now 30 and requires monthly tests to monitor the potential side effects of the medication she has to take to avoid her body rejecting the lungs and to monitor her Cystic Fibrosis.
“Without pathology my daughter would not be alive. Instead she has grown into an amazing and inspirational young woman. Although she still has her ups and downs we’re not taking anything for granted.”
Dr Melody Caramins is a pathologist specialising in genetics;
“Cystic Fibrosis is the most common genetically acquired, chronic condition in Australia. Although there is currently no cure, life-expectancy and life quality for people with Cystic Fibrosis have both increased significantly in the past twenty years.
From the heel prick test that diagnoses the condition just minutes after a baby is born, to the regular testing to monitor a person’s condition, pathology tests are invaluable in caring for people with Cystic Fibrosis.”
If you have a story of how pathology has helped you or someone you love we want to hear from you, email firstname.lastname@example.org