The girl who bleeds from her EYES and EARS: 17-year-old suffers from mystery condition which causes blood to seep from her orifices five times a day215 views
A 17-year-old girl is suffering from a horrific mystery condition which causes thick, stinging blood to seep from her eyes and ears.
Marnie Harvey’s condition has baffled doctors for three years – and has left her virtually housebound.
Now, desperate for a diagnosis, she is sharing her story in the hope of getting her life back.
Miss Harvey’s ordeal began in 2013 when she woke up with blood spatters on her pillow.
Her terrified mother Catherine, 43, took her to the GP – but despite several tests, no cause could be found.
For the next two years she was sent for more investigations and told to change her diet, eliminating food groups from sugar to dairy, in a bid to find out what was causing her symptoms.
But her condition continued to get worse – and in July last year she was horrified to wake with ‘gloopy’ blood seeping from her eyes.
She now bleeds from her eyes, nose, ears and fingernails up to five times a day – but doctors from every area of medicine are baffled as to why.
Bleeding: Marnie Harvey, 17, bleeds from her eyes up to five times a day and doctors have no idea why
Pain: Miss Harvey struggles to open her eyes as the blood stings. It caused her family to scream the first time it happened in 2013
In the last few weeks, she has also started to bleed from her tongue and scalp.
Miss Harvey, from Stoke-on-Trent, is thought to be the only person in the UK with this unique set of symptoms, causing doctors to dub her ‘The Mystery Girl’.
Recalling the moment she woke up with her eyes bleeding, Miss Harvey said: ‘Red, gloopy tears were dripping out of my right eye.
‘I had blood all over my face and a shooting pain behind my eyes.
‘I felt my way downstairs and my parents, brother and sister all screamed when they saw me. My brother called an ambulance.’
Her ordeal began in 2013 when she became uncharacteristically unwell and started to cough up blood.
She was sent for a chest scan, which came back clear, but the worrying symptom continued for two years.
Miss Harvey frequently attended North Staffordshire Hospital and had further blood scans, which again, came back showing nothing amiss.
She developed a pain in her side and also began suffering migraines and sickness which were so bad she would miss weeks of school.
Her attendance fell below 50 per cent and although she managed to take her GCSEs, she did not get the results she had hoped for.
‘We had the medical letters but there were times I didn’t go to school for weeks because the migraines were so bad all I could do was lie in my room in the dark, unable to move,’ she said.
Believing the symptoms might be related to her diet, doctors advised her to try eliminating food groups.
Over the course of two years she cut out dairy, chocolate, gluten, wheat and sugar – but nothing worked.
By June 2015 the headaches and sickness had worsened. But what was to happen next was truly horrifying.
Miss Harvey had gone to bed with one of her crippling headaches when she woke up with blurred vision and pain behind her eyes.
When she went to the mirror, she had blood over her face and a sharp pain behind her eyes.
‘My eyes started bleeding, then my nose and ears,’ she said.
‘It was a dark red, gloopy blood. It didn’t gush out, it seeped.’
Her terrified family called an ambulance and she was taken to hospital.
But again doctors couldn’t find anything wrong and she was sent home, only for the bleeding to return and was referred to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) and eye departments.
She was tested for a brain tumour but the results came back clear.
Despite the negative results, the bleeding continued as often as five times a day and Miss Harvey said she felt like her life was on hold.
She would struggle to open her eyes during the episodes as the blood caused them to sting.
It forced her to give up a hairdressing course and retail job as she ‘couldn’t go and bleed everywhere’.
‘I used to go out with my friends every day but I became too scared to leave the house,’ she said.
‘It was alright in the summer because I could hide my bleeding eyes behind sunglasses but I can’t do that now so I stay at home.
‘I never know when it’s going to happen and I don’t like scaring people.’
Miss Harvey’s dream to become a nurse, to go on holiday and find a boyfriend are all shelved while she’s passed from specialist to specialist.
Every day, purple and blue bruises appear all over her body, which hurt to touch and often swell up.
But despite the fact her symptoms seem to worsen when she’s on her period – tests show there is nothing wrong with her reproductive organs or fertility.
She said: ‘They scanned my womb and ovaries and it all came back clear. I saw a gynecologist in January but it felt futile as I’ve already had my reproductive organs checked and cleared.’
She said: ‘We’ve had it confirmed that Marnie does not have a brain tumour or brain AVM – an abnormal collection of blood vessels.
‘Her blood tests come back clear and healthy, her iron levels are strong.
‘She has no tumours, no blood diseases and no blood clotting disorders. Her blood clots well.’
An ultrasound scan showed her liver, kidneys, womb and ovaries and confirmed all organs are functioning perfectly, she added, and her eyes, ears, nose and throat are all fine.
She has also had MRI scans, CT scans and multiple blood tests, but the only problem anomaly doctors can identify is that she has a low immune system.
‘Life on hold': Miss Harvey couldn’t start her job in a clothes shop because she would bleed on the items
‘That’s all we’ve got to go on for now,’ Mrs Harvey said.
After years of leaving doctors bewildered, Miss Harvey has become accustomed to being the subject of medical fascination.
She said: ‘Specialists bring their students to have a look at me. One student suggested stigmata – the religious belief it’s the representation of the blood of Jesus.
‘We’re not a religious family. We just want answers.’
Mrs Harvey is now appealing for anyone who might know what could be wrong with her daughter.
Through their own research, the family have found two other similar cases in the world.
Six years ago in Tennessee, USA, Calvino Inman, who was 15 at the time, was reported to mysteriously ‘cry blood’ up to three times a day.
An ophthalmologist suggested Calvino could have haemolacria – bloody tears.
Yet Mrs Harvey said this doesn’t fit with her daughter’s symptoms, as she also bleeds from other orifices and comes up covered in bruises.
The case of Twinkle Dwivedi, of Lucknow, India, was first reported in 2008.
Then 13, Twinkle was suffering from a blood disorder that caused a loss of blood through her skin without being cut or scratch. She also bled from her eyes.
‘A doctor thought Twinkle might have a coagulation disorder,’ Mrs Harvey said. ‘Maybe her platelets didn’t stick to the blood vessels.
‘But from what we can tell of Twinkle’s case, an official diagnosis has still not been made.’
Again, the case doesn’t help her own daughter’s plight as Miss Harvey’s blood coagulation has been tested and cleared.
The mystery condition has led to cruel taunts from some people and forced Miss Harvey off Facebook.
‘Some friends still come visit me but there are some I haven’t seen in months,’ she said.
‘I had to leave Facebook because people were starting rumours that I had blood cancer or the Ebola virus.
‘Last time I was in hospital kids in the waiting room were taking pictures of me with their phones.
‘The doctors say they just don’t know what’s causing it – I’m their mystery girl.’
Mystery: Doctors have dubbed Miss Harvey ‘the mystery girl’ as her condition is undiagnosed. She said: ‘They say they just don’t know what’s causing it. I’m their mystery girl’