Niamh’s JIA Journey

She always manages to stay positive

Written by mum, Laura , about Niamh, age 7.

“Niamh was diagnosed with oligoarticular JIA when she was 1. We spent weeks being passed about departments at our local hospital when her left knee started to swell and she developed a limp. A Steroid injection into her joint worked wonders but over  the next 15 months a further five joints became affected and her diagnosis was changed to extended oligoarticular.

“More joint injections were needed and Niamh started methotrexate injections aged 3. Unfortunately she had to come off them 18 months later, her liver couldn’t cope with them. After a discussion with her doctor we decided to take a medication break but 7 months later she flared again in several joints. Another round of joint injections and Niamh began Etanercept injections twice a week. She’s hypermobile too.

“Despite her Arthritis she’s doing well at school (which is no easy task with the amount of hospital appointments!) and she has gone to weekly Gymnastics lessons since she was three. There are times she struggles, needing to go to and from class in her wheelchair  but her coaches are brilliant at knowing her limits and adapting what she struggles with. She has collected a number of certificates and badges over the years and is working her way towards her level three. She continues to try her best and always manages to stay positive.”