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Teacher Catches Lucky Break

September 22, 2015; posted by: WeBleed Staff

Primary school teacher and minor league Australian Rules Football player, Steven Sellens, considers himself a lucky man in spite of the fact that he broke his arm, required surgery, and was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder.

“A year ago I broke my arm at footy and had to have surgery,” Mr Sellens told the Sunraysia Daily.  “A week later I had bleeding on my gums and came out in red dots like chickenpox.”

Upon admission to the hospital Sellens platelet count was only at 4/microliter when a normal count is between 150,000 and 400,000/microliter.

“I went in to hospital and had blood tests and the doctors initially thought it was leukaemia, which was a bit of a scare, and then they diagnosed it as ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura).”

The 5th & 6th grade teacher, who had played for the Bambill Football & Netball Club, recognizes that the injury came at a fortuitous time.

“If I hadn’t broken my arm I would have played and lucky I didn’t because I wouldn’t have been alive on the footy field, so it was very scary.”

With his platelet count now around 240,000/microliter, Sellens is continues to take precautions to make sure his levels stay within the “normal” range by watching what he eats and making sure to get plenty of Vitamin K.

Red Cliffs East Primary, where Sellens works, hosted a Walk-a-thon this past Thursday to celebrate ITP Awareness Month and to support Sellens.  Students were treated to a BBQ lunch and encouraged to wear purple.

Photo Credit: Sunraysia Daily

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