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Tower Hamlets health experts help teenager grow four inches in three years

PUBLISHED: 13:15 13 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:00 05 October 2010

Hayley (right) with her friend before the treatment and how she looks now (left)

Hayley (right) with her friend before the treatment and how she looks now (left)

A YOUNG patient with growing problems has shot up by four inches in three years, thanks to pioneering treatment in the East End. And experts at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry are now appealing for funds so they can help youngsters

A YOUNG patient with growing problems has shot up by four inches in three years, thanks to pioneering treatment in the East End.

And experts at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry are now appealing for funds so they can help youngsters with a similar disorder.

Hayley Cowan was barley 5ft when she reached senior school and was continually bullied by fellow pupils because of her small size.

But at the age of 14 she was transferred to Martin Savage, Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, who diagnosed her as having low levels of growth hormone.

She started the hormone treatment in February 2006 and three years later, she had grown four inches taller.

Hayley, who is now 18 and lives in St Albans in Hertfordshire, said: "I remember how annoyed and upset I was when I was the only one of my friend to be interrogated when trying to see a 12A classified film, when I was at least two years older than the required age.

"But now, thanks to the growth hormones, I look the same age as my friends and can match them in self-assurance."

Specialists at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry in Whitechapel, which is part of Queen Mary University of London, say that one in 10 children in the country suffer from diseases that effect their growth and development, and cause early or late puberty, diabetes and obesity.

And they are keen to create a Child Health Research Centre in Tower Hamlets where they can carry out more research into hormone disorders and help babies, children and teenagers who are affected.

Professor of Medicine at the medical school, Adrian Clark, said: "Our aim is to raise £2.4million to fund a team of researchers which will translate into better care for sick children and improvements in their long-term health."

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