Hi, I’m Jen. I was diagnosed with hypogammaglobulinemia when I was 15. I became ill with pneumonia and a collapsed lung after frequent episodes of tonsillitis. This quickly developed into sepsis and septic shock, and I spent a week in intensive care at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). During my recovery, a few months later, one of the doctors at GOSH investigated my immune system, which led to my diagnosis.

I’m an outpatient at the Royal Free Hospital in London and the care from the immunology team is fantastic

Initially my treatment consisted of three-weekly intravenous infusions in hospital, but then I started weekly subcutaneous infusions at home. I have followed this regime for 16 years now, along with backup antibiotics when needed. The subcutaneous infusions have worked well for me as a flexible approach and have become part of my weekly routine.

I work full time as a property consultant and trying to stay healthy and avoid getting ill while living and working in London is not always easy.

My immune deficiency requires extra planning, consideration and caution, especially with regards to travel, but it hasn’t stopped me doing most of the things I would like to do

After university I travelled around Australia and south-east Asia, taking my intravenous medication with me on the aeroplane and travelling back to a hospital in Sydney to have my infusion. Since then, I have travelled lots. Last year I completed an eight-day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, which was something I thought I’d never be able to do a few years ago. 

Posted June 2020