Meet Harriet Tyson

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Little did I know at the start of 2020 what this year had in store. The first few months were fairly non-eventful; breaking New Year resolutions and making plans for the summer. Then, news started coming through of a pandemic in China that was quickly spreading throughout the rest of the world.

My world was turned upside down.

 

On March 23rd the UK entered lockdown. Just weeks later my own world was to come crashing down as I started suffering greatly with sickness and bloody stools.

It got to the point where the pain in my belly was so bad, I couldn’t move. I’d probably left it longer than I should have done, but hospitals were under pressure and. I didn’t want to add to that.

I called the emergency services and was advised to go straight to A&E. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, I had to go into the hospital myself. This was a scary event in itself as I had never been poorly enough to be in hospital, let alone being on my own!

My diagnosis: Ulcerative Colitis.

 

Within the first couple of days I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. The good news was it could be treated. My doctors and specialists tried me on a cocktail of different mediations, like Cyclosporine.

Unfortunately, after many weeks, my symptoms were getting worse and my health was rapidly deteriorating.

After having daily X-rays and CT scans to monitor my colon, the decision was made: I would need surgery.

Waking up with a stoma bag.

 

In the end, I actually had emergency surgery as I was in so much pain. Six hours later I woke up in the ICU department with my newly fitted stoma bag.

A week went by and I was making good progress, learning how to use and change my bag. Then, disaster. A week after my surgery, my stoma had come away from my stomach wall and I had haemorrhaged.

Luckily for me, a surgeon was able to come to my hospital bed, performing the necessary surgery to re-attach my stoma to my stomach wall.

Luckily for me, a surgeon was able to come to my hospital bed, performing the necessary surgery to re-attach my stoma to my stomach wall.

All in all, I spent a month in the hospital. Strict visitation rules meant I couldn’t risk any visitors. Thankfully I could still rely on the support of others through telephone calls and FaceTime.

Looking ahead to 2021.

As I write my story, I’m already looking ahead to 2021. Hopefully through the wonder of science, the world will be able to get back to living and loving life again. I certainly will. I am so thankful for my stoma and how it saved me. I can’t wait to continue my journey with my bag and tackle life together!

Take care

Harriet

If you’ve been inspired by Harriet’s story and would like us to pass a message on, simply email meplus@convatec.com or if you’d like to contribute your own stoma story, just get in touch the same way.

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