A Mother's Journey with Sickle Cell Disease


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When Layla was pregnant, she knew there was a 1 in 4 chance that her child would have Sickle Cell Disease. Routine newborn screening was done in London when Suki was 5 days old. She would be notified soon if her daughter Suki had Sickle Cell Disease, or even if she was a carrier and had Sickle Cell Trait. Like other parents, Layla was told that no news was good news. She was relieved. Then, when Suki was a month old, there was a knock at the door: Layla was told that Suki did have Sickle Cell Disease. She was handed pamphlets and told that Suki would have an appointment at the hospital when she was 3 months old. Layla shares how their world changed and what her experience with motherhood has been like. She also shares how racism has impacted Suki’s care, specifically during Covid-19, when Suki received care at a different hospital from where she is normally cared for by a dedicated team.

Links and Resources

Follow Suki on Instagram: @suki_lawson

Follow Layla on Instagram: @layls.x

Sickle Cell Society (UK)

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America

Addressing Health Disparities in Sickle Cell Disease. Interview with Barbara W. Harrison, MS, CGC. December 15, 2020. Genotypecast Podcast.

Listen to another interview with a young woman who has sickle cell disease: Invisible and Unpredictable. Interview with Mary Adenturinmo. September 25, 2018. Patient Stories Podcast.

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