A NEWLY qualified nurse credits her brother and son, who share a rare genetic condition, for encouraging her to turn her dream into a reality.
Growing up, Carly Koncuk, was surrounded by doctors and nurses who took care of her brother, Anthony, as he battled chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), a life-threatening and life-limiting genetic condition.
At the age of 16, the Acocks Green resident discovered that she was an X-Linked carrier of CGD, which meant if she ever became pregnant with boys, there was a 50-50 chance they would have CGD.
Carly’s second child, Aydin was diagnosed with the disease shortly after birthand she was determined to not let Aydin go through what Anthony had.
Conversations started to begin plans for a bone marrow transplant, the only known treatment for CGD.
In October 2016, Aydin had a successful transplant and after 11 weeks as an inpatient at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Aydin was finally allowed home.
Carly said: “Following Aydin’s transplant, my house was transformed into a mobile hospital.
“Administering up to 15 medications spread across a 24-hour period, changing Hickman line and PICC line dressings and setting up Aydin’s infusions inspired me to follow a dream I’d had to become a nurse.”
Carly’s first year of her nursing degree at Birmingham City University was thrown into disarry as she was told to shield due to being immunocompromised as the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
She said: “My first year went past in the blink of an eye, followed by my second being online due to shielding.
“By the time I was a third-year student, I had no idea where I wanted to work and felt very out of my depth on placements.”
Carly was given a placement in the community – and it is here where she finally felt part of a team and supported.
She said: “I loved caring for people in their own homes and enjoyed the range of multidisciplinary teams that I was exposed to.
“This felt like something close to my heart as growing up, I was constantly surrounded by district nurses and health care workers that cared for my brother and, in recent years, my son.”
Carly applied for a job with Solihull Community Services completion of her course and, in May 2022, she was given her final placement in the community.
By the time she completed her degree in March 2023, Carly was ready to begin her career as a community nurse and she says she couldn’t be prouder of the journey she has been on.