Symptoms. The symptoms of sickle cell anemia are the fatigue that comes from anemia and excruciating pain that arrives in events called sickle cell crises. The pain comes on suddenly and can strike every part of the body, though it most often is felt in the abdomen, the chest and in the bones. Because the blood flow is interrupted, the person can suffer damage to their organs, including their brain, their lungs and their kidneys. The patient’s spleen becomes enlarged because it holds on to the red blood cells that would otherwise be in their circulatory system. This can damage the spleen, and since the spleen is part of the immune system, this can put the person at risk for dangerous infections.