Charlotte is 11. She has poly-JIA.
One morning, when she was 5, she woke with a sore swollen knee. It didn’t get better so, after 3 days, she was admitted to hospital with a suspected infection. After that was ruled that out, Charlotte had numerous hospital appointments, tests and scans. Her ankles then also became inflamed and she was unable to walk. It was terrifying for Charlotte and her parents.
It took about 8 weeks before Charlotte was diagnosed with JIA. She also has uveitis, and has lost the sight in her right eye as a result. She has had multiple joint injections, and is now on humira. For the past year, her JIA has been largely under control.
She takes everything in her stride, but she has struggled with friendships because of her JIA. She also pushes herself very hard to keep up so people think she’s fine, but then she crashes and burns later on which is hard.
Charlotte’s JIA affects the whole family, and the consequences of her uveitis will affect her for the rest of her life. But she doesn’t see it that way, keeps positive, and has recently been awarded a music exhibition at senior school.
For more information about the different types of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, please see our About JIA page.
* Charlotte is happy for us to share her story. The photo is from stock and is not Charlotte.