A woman says her "whole life came crashing down" after she was left vomiting up to 30 times a day while in extreme pain from a rare illness.
Emily Webster, 27, has been suffering from a gruelling condition called Gastroparesis for the past five years after she fell violently ill in 2016.
She said she was initially told that she had a common condition called IBS but later found out it was the incurable illness – which has left her in "agonising and debilitating" pain.
Her condition, which affects just six per cent of people in the UK, means her stomach cannot empty normally because it is in partial paralysis, reports LeedsLive.
The 27-year-old says the last few years of her life have "just blurred" but hopes she can start to get back to normal after being told she would be a good candidate for a gastric pacemaker.
This device would regulate her stomach and improve her life dramatically – but it’s not offered by the NHS and costs a staggering £9,500.
She said the surgery, which has been scheduled for November 11, would be the "best Christmas present I could ever get".
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Emily, from Armley, Leeds said: "I had my life taken away from me.
"The past five years have been so difficult and lonely, but the worst part has been missing every single occasion of every year.
"I missed four Christmases, I missed my best friend’s wedding, my best friend having a baby.
"The surgery would make my life better, and it would improve the quality of my life.
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"I felt like I was in a never-ending cycle where I was told there was no cure and there was nothing anyone could do.
"But this is a chance. It would be incredible, even just that."
When Emily went to her GP in 2016, they asked her what her symptoms were and "touched my tummy" and told her to see a dietician.
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But the former bank worker said she could not go a day without feeling physical pain or vomiting – and would be sick up to 30 times a day.
She saw her weight plummet, and at one stage tipped the scales at just five stone – the average weight of a 10-year-old girl.
Despite her condition deteriorating, tests were unable to explain Emily’s condition and they suggested they were caused by mental health issues.
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Emily was admitted to the national inpatient centre for psychological medicine at St James Hospital in 2018 where she underwent therapy.
"That’s when I started struggling with mental health because I was spending so much time in hospital," she said.
"I couldn’t work, I lost my house. My whole life came crashing down, and I felt so helpless."
Emily has launched a fundraiser for her surgery. To donate visit here.
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