LIFESTYLE

Teenager's Nosebleed Alerts Doctors To Three Life-Threatening Illnesses In Family

23/07/2015 11:38 BST | Updated 23/07/2015 11:59 BST

A mother has revealed how her teenage daughter's nosebleed alerted doctors to three dangerous illnesses within the family, including cancer and kidney failure.

In 2013, then 14-year-old Crystal Enns had the day off school because her nose wouldn't stop bleeding.

Crystal's parents took her to see a doctor where she underwent standard medical tests. Later, she was diagnosed with a rare health condition called juvenile nephronophthisis.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, juvenile nephronophthisis is found in 10-20% of children with kidney failure.

crystal enns

Crystal Enns in hospital after being diagnosed with the rare condition

The disease causes cysts to form in the kidney(s) which can cause them to gradually stop working.

Sufferers of this rare condition are usually thirsty all of the time and urinate excessively. They may also have eye problems, skeletal abnormalities and liver fibrosis.

Following the diagnosis, doctors told Crystal that she would need a kidney transplant.

The teenager's parents jumped at the chance to help their daughter and donate a kidney, but after undergoing tests, they were shocked to find out that both of them had kidney cancer.

crystal enns and family

Crystal Enns with her family

Thankfully, Crystal's aunt was a perfect match and the teenager, now 17 years old, was able to undergo a transplant in April, which was a success.

Because her mother and father's cancer was caught early, they were also both able to undergo surgery to have it removed.

Doctors later revealed that Crystal's nosebleed was completely unrelated to the disease.

The teen's mother, Cristy, told ABC News: "We are overwhelmed with gratitude to God for allowing us to find out about her kidney disease when we did because Mark and I would never have been tested otherwise.

"The timing of her nosebleed allowed us to begin the donor screening process early, with plenty of time to discover and take care of our alarming cancer diagnosis before it came time for Crystal's transplant."

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