She went to the doctor to try to get rid of her persistent ulcers.
But hours after having a blood test, Lizzy Seward was rushed to Royal Sussex County Hospital to be treated for two rare diseases.
After a night of emergency blood transfusions, the 32-year-old from Haywards Heath woke up on a haematology and oncology ward, with little clue as to what was happening.
She was later diagnosed with the bone marrow disease aplastic anaemia as well as the blood disease paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria – a condition which affects just one in every 2,000,000 people across the world.
A bone marrow transplant was her only chance of survival and Miss Seward was told without one she had as little as two years to live.
Miss Seward is now urging people to sign up to the transplant register, after a 20-year-old man in Germany gave her the bone marrow which saved her life.
Anthony Nolan register
Miss Seward, who was building up her cake business before she got ill, said: “It was ironic because the only charity I have ever cared about is the Anthony Nolan Trust.
“Years ago there was an appeal for a mother who had three sons who all had some sort of blood defect.
“It was really heart wrenching so I gave them my spit sample and joined the Anthony Nolan register.”
Miss Seward, who has also had chemotherapy treatment, added: “I cannot thank the hospital staff enough for what they have done.
“The one thing I would love to come from my situation is if one person gets identified as a possible match.
“That would be the most incredible experience of all and I would feel it was all worth it.”
The Victory Inn at Staplefield celebrated St George’s Day by holding a pub quiz which raised £500 for the Anthony Nolan Trust.
This money will go towards recruiting more potential donors for the register.
Alex Hildrew, a senior development manager at Anthony Nolan, said: “It’s fantastic that Lizzy’s family and local community are supporting the charity.”
You can become a donor if you are aged between 16 and 30 and weigh more than 51kg.
For more information visit www.anthonynolan.org.
Blood donors aged between 18 and 49 can also register for the British Bone Marrow Registry at www.nhsbt.org.uk/bonemarrow.
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