Kirkcaldy schoolgirl joins lab staff in her fight against leukaemia

From left: Tamara Hanson, Biomedical Scientist RHSC Team Leader, NHS Lothian, Arabella and her dad Keith Muir.
From left: Tamara Hanson, Biomedical Scientist RHSC Team Leader, NHS Lothian, Arabella and her dad Keith Muir.

A Kirkcaldy schoolgirl was given the chance to become a medical scientist for the day to help in her battle against leukaemia.

Arabella Muir (10), became an NHS Lothian “trainee biomedical scientist” in a bid to de-mystify the blood and bone marrow tests that she has to regularly undergo. since being diagnosed in Secember 2016.

The groundbreaking scheme, created by the charity Harvey’s Gang, has been created to prevent children worrying or being frightened about medical examinations.

Arabella was the first patient to take part in the scheme since it was adopted by the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Arabella said: “I saw how the blood sample arrives in the laboratory and I got to put on stickers on the tubes and scan them into the computer. Then I put them into a tube that spins it in a circle really fast.

“I found it really cool how the blood and the plasma were separated in this big machine and how they got a sample from just the tiny bit of blood that was left.

“Then I got to look through a microscope at a sample of my bone marrow from when I was first diagnosed and my most recent sample.

“I found it cool when we looked at blood cells (Neutrophil) and one of them looked like it had eyes and a mouth and it was smiling.”

She added: “That was my favourite cell.”

Arabella was the first child to take part in the initiative in NHS Lothian and it is hoped it will now help scores more children.