At birth, Patrick was diagnosed with haemophilia – a rare blood disorder that affects over 2,800 Australians.1 Now aged 22, the Adelaide paramedic intern regularly competes in triathlons, determined not to let his condition hold him back.
Patrick’s parents were aware of their family history of haemophilia and the need for an early diagnosis in their newborn. In his first few months of life, Patrick was tested and diagnosed with haemophilia Type A and would subsequently spend a large part of his childhood going in and out of hospital.
His diagnosis meant that Patrick had to be cautious when participating in high-risk activities – a hurdle that proved most challenging during his teen years.
"When I was a lot younger, I didn’t like to acknowledge that I had any injury. That way mum wouldn’t make me go to hospital to get treated. Now that I’m older, I acknowledge that I have the injury and treat it quicker, making the injury a lot less severe.”
Why Patrick won't let haemophilia hold him back
Today, Patrick manages his treatment schedule and plans ahead when training for triathlons. Being an advocate for patients with haemophilia has motivated Patrick to achieve his goals and give back to the community. He is determined to show others with haemophilia what is possible. This is particularly important for young people diagnosed with haemophilia who need to look after their bodies to avoid long-term joint injuries, arthritis and disability.2
Due to his rare disease, Patrick is under constant supervision and monitoring by a haemophilia team in Adelaide. This contact with medical professionals inspired Patrick to seek a career in healthcare. He recently completed his paramedic degree at Flinders University and is looking to become a full-time paramedic for SA Ambulance.
Patrick, Haemophilia, South Australia
“Watching the amazing work of the medical teams who have helped me manage my rare disease over the years, fuelled my desire to become a paramedic. Having a rare disease exposes you to whole world of interesting and talented people, which you can then put to good use.”
- Australian Bleeding Disorder Registry Annual Report 2017-18. Last accessed March 2020.
- Haemophilia Foundation Australia. About bleeding disorders FAQ. Available here. Last accessed March 2020.