In May 2015, Molly came down with severe and prolonged cold-like symptoms. Despite several visits to her GP, Molly rapidly deteriorated and was soon admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties, extreme swelling, fluctuating high temperature, and a dangerously elevated heart rate. Doctors initially diagnosed Epstein Barr virus (glandular fever), however she was quickly transferred to intensive care and was soon fighting for her life. It was clear that something was very wrong.

The extensive team of specialists involved in Molly’s care eventually made a further diagnosis of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH).

HLH is a life-threatening condition whereby cells of the immune system, principally T cells and NK cells, don’t work properly to destroy infected or damaged cells as they should.  Because of this, the immune system becomes overstimulated and over activated and begins to damage the patient’s own tissues and organs, including the bone marrow, the liver and the brain.  HLH can occur for different reasons associated with abnormal function of the immune system. You can learn more about HLH here.

Despite beginning chemotherapy treatment to arrest the HLH, sadly Molly died 6 weeks after her first symptoms appeared.

Read more about Molly and details of Molly’s Smile Fund here..


On 9 July, 2015, a week after her death, we launched Molly’s Smile Fund to raise money for St George’s Hospital GICU and Histio UK. Over a year later, this fund now stands at nearly £50,000 and continues to grow. The funds will be used to directly benefit patients and their families using the GICU and towards research for care and cure of HLH. It is our hope that other families will have better outcomes in Molly’s name.

In this way, Molly’s beautiful smile will continue to live on.

Molly heartTo make a donation to the fund, please visit our justgiving page. Your contribution is very much appreciated.