A student died 26 days after she was diagnosed with tonsilitis.
Chelsea Jackson, 20, was described as fit and healthy and rarely unwell before she developed a sore throat on 22 December. Doctors diagnosed her with tonsilitis and gave her antibiotics, but her condition rapidly worsened and she was placed in intensive care.
Soon, Chelsea, from Wolverhampton, could neither eat nor swallow, her eyes had turned yellow and she was finding it hard to breathe.
Doctors found her positive for the immune condition Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which causes organ failure and destroys healthy cells and explained why she could not fight off the tonsilitis. Despite undergoing chemotherapy, it was too late to reverse the damage and she died three days later.
‘Chelsea was never really ill so when she started to complain of a sore throat, we just assumed she’d caught a cold,’ said Chelsea’s mother, Nicki.
‘We had no idea how serious things were about to get, tonsillitis is a common illness and everyone normally recovers but her body wasn’t responding to the medication.
‘Chelsea was the life and soul of the party and loved socialising, it was heart-breaking to see her in so much pain.’
Nicki, 41, father Scott, 41, and Lauren, 23, are now trying to set up a charity in Chelsea’s name to raise awareness of HLH.