Morgan's story

Morgan was born in June 2005 with a blue-purple mark on her upper left arm. I realised straight away that it was a birthmark - I had the same on my face. 

The birthmark grew with Morgan and by the age of 5 it measured 8cm by 5cm and was starting to cause her pain. We were referred to Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow and had a combined meeting with a dermatologist, a plastic surgeon and radiologist who referred her for a MRI scan and requested my own medical notes to compare my results with Morgan's. The results confirmed what we thought - Morgan had inherited our family's very rare glomovenous malformations. 

GVMs are formed from abnormal blood vessels and glomus cells which regulate body temperature. GVMs don't generally respond to laser treatment or sclerotherapy as these just take away the physical appearance rather than the painful faulty cells so Morgan's only option was surgery to remove as much as they could. 

Morgan's surgery took place in February 2011. Surgery took just over an hour and left her with lots of internal stitches, glue and steristrips. 

We were given silicone pads to help reduce the scarring which Morgan had an allergic reaction to but thankfully the scar has healed and reduced really well. Unfortunately due to the width of the mark it was impossible to remove it all so there are patches running either side of the 9cm scar. 

GVMs can appear at any time and Morgan now has about 20 very small ones all over her body. Only a few are causing her pain so she has decided to wait until she is bigger to have them removed. 

Our case is quite rare as there are several members of our family with the same condition. We were asked if we could send samples to a clinic that are analysing DNA to see if GVMs are caused by a faulty gene and we happily agreed.