Hailey Hart Uses Telemedicine to Stay Safe
My name is Hailey Hart, I am an active 16-year-old high school cheerleader and a competitive hip hop dancer, here in Port St. Lucie, Florida. When I was 5 years old, I was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Ehlers Danlos.
Ehlers Danlos (EDS) is a disorder that mostly affects the skin, joints, and blood vessels. My pediatrician was uncertain because I had some symptoms such as Scoliosis, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP), and flexible joints. I was finally diagnosed by a geneticist, who believed I inherited it from a family member.
I’ve had symptoms of low platelets, heart palpitations, nausea, fatigue, and syncope. Growing up, I loved cheering and dancing despite my loose and painful joints, and easy bruising. When I was in middle school, my doctors advised me not to cheer anymore to prevent injuries. My mom and dad however, kept me in cheer and dance because I’m only a kid once.
I knew I had some health issues, but back then I wasn’t aware of all the side effects of EDS, so I just thought everyone had similar pain and had to deal with it. For a long time, I was in denial that I had EDS because I did not want to believe that I was any different than other kids my age.
My passion for cheer and hip hop, and my stubbornness to prove that I could do it at a varsity level helped me survive high school cheerleading and competitive hip hop. I suffered multiple sprains, severe bruising, and a dislocated knee. I looked pretty silly wearing several support braces, but I was not going to let EDS stop me from doing something I love.
This year, I was diagnosed with a rare antibody form of lupus that affects my lungs and kidneys. I am also immune-compromised due to this. When I had the flu last year, I was in the hospital due to pneumonia. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, this virus could cause serious illness to myself or anyone being immune-compromised like me.
Unfortunately, since COVID-19 is active in my area, I have been home and unable to leave my house for anything. I am very thankful for Night Lite Pediatrics for having Telemedicine. I was able to log on and see a doctor online in the comfort and safety of my own house. This felt great to not have to put my health at risk by leaving my home. I realized I need to take care of myself and know that there will be good days and bad days, but at the same time, I should not give up on my dreams and plans. All I can do is try to treat my symptoms, have an optimistic attitude, do my best to live as normally as possible, and trust God’s plans for my life. Thank you, Night Lite Pediatrics.