Mother, 29, with endometriosis can't get surgery due to coronavirus

Mother, 29, with endometriosis can't get surgery due to coronavirus

03/25/2020

Mother, 29, with severe endoemtriosis who’s had 74 invasive operations and was left with an open stomach wound for six weeks reveals she can’t get vital treatment as coronavirus rips through hospitals

  • WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: Rachel Grant, 29, has undergone 74 operations
  • Mother-of-two from Glasgow has suffered from endometriosis since she was 14
  • One operation left a hole in her stomach for six weeks leaving her bleeding
  • She now says her next operation could be postponed for months due to coronavirus outbreak 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

A woman has revealed she can’t get the treatment she needs for her crippling endometriosis due to the coronavirus pandemic ripping through British hospitals.

Rachel Grant, 29, from Glasgow, was diagnosed with endometriosis when she was 14, and has since had 74 operations in a bid to live a normal life with children Ava, eight and Harris, five, and her partner Mark, 33. 

The beautician, who had to have her stomach left open for six weeks, is about to have her 75th operation to try and cure her endometriosis which leaves her unable to work and in constant pain. 

But she is still unable to get a permanent fix and is currently left in limbo, unable to get treatment for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is stopping doctors from being able to see her.

Rachel said: ‘I’m supposed to have an operation every few months, but I have to self-isolate because if I catch the virus it could kill me due my current health state.

Rachel Grant, 29, from Glasgow, was diagnosed with endometriosis when she was 14, and has since had 74 operations in a bid to live a normal life with children Ava, eight and Harris, five, and her partner Mark, 33, she is pictured in hospital following an operation

The beautician had to have her stomach left open for six weeks is about to have her 75th operation to try and cure her endometriosis which leaves her unable to work and in constant pain. She had to lose nine stone to help with the operation, she is pictured halfway through her weight loss 

‘At the moment it looks like I’m going to have to wait around three months, which will mean I’ll have waited eight months for an operation.

‘That is double the amount of time I usually have to wait, and the pain is becoming unbearable.

‘What we need is more people paying attention to how damaging this condition is, rather than just managing it. We need to find a cure, because for me managing it is not good enough.’

In 2015, Rachel’s abdomen reopened after she was discharged from an operation – and contracted sepsis.

She spent six weeks with a 30cm hole in her abdomen. She had a hysterectomy last year in what was supposed to be a final cure, which still has not worked. 

‘I have a history of this condition in the family, but never expected to get it at 14 because usually it doesn’t effect women until they’re older’ she explained.

She is still unable to get a permanent fix and is currently left in limbo, unable to get treatment for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic which is stopping doctors from being able to see her. She is pictured in hospital 

Rachel (pictured with her husband Mark) said: ‘I’m supposed to have an operation every few months but I have to self-isolate because if I catch the virus it could kill me due my current health state’

In 2015, Rachel’s abdomen reopened after she was discharged from an operation – and contracted sepsis. She was then told to lose nine stone ahead of a hysterectomy, she is pictured here after her weight loss

‘I was in all sorts of pain when I was growing up, and after my first surgery when I was 14, when the pain persisted, I was sent to a psychiatrist because they thought I was making it up.

‘From the ages of 14 all the way until now, I have had 74 major surgeries on my uterus and stomach, as well as a hysterectomy recently.

‘Before I had the hysterectomy I had to lose nine stone, which I did naturally, and I thought the nightmare would finally be over.

One of the hardest moments for Rachel, she says, is when her laparoscopy wound re-opened at home.

‘I was in all sorts of pain when I was growing up, and after my first surgery when I was 14, when the pain persisted, I was sent to a psychiatrist because they thought I was making it up’ she said. She is pictured in hospital

She was recovering and with her friends when she stood up and her two friends went ‘ghost white’.

She said: ‘Because I had only just had the operation, I couldn’t feel anything when I stood up, my friends nearly fainted. I looked down, and all I could see was blood.

‘I got to hospital and they couldn’t sew it up because the wound was so big so they used a vacuum bandage – which essentially forces my stomach back together.

‘It looks like a botched tummy-tuck, but it saved my life so I can’t be angry about it. At that point doctors cared about saving my life and not how I looked.’

‘After one of my laparoscopies I was at home and I stood up and looked down and there was blood all over the floor. The wound they had cut in my stomach had opened up and I was rushed to hospital.

Rachel explained: ”Nobody can work out what is wrong with me specifically, the laparoscopies are supposed to manage the condition, but they don’t work for me, I have one every three or four months.’ She is pictured after losing nine stone and having a hysterectomy

Rachel explained that she can’t work as a result of the pain, and also struggles to sleep. She is pictured with her husband

‘Because of the size of the wound they could not seal it and it was left open for six weeks with just a bandage over it.

‘I was walking around a hospital and my stomach was wide open.

‘Nobody can work out what is wrong with me specifically, the laparoscopies are supposed to manage the condition, but they don’t work for me, I have one every three or four months.

Rachel explained that she can’t work as a result of the pain, and also struggles to sleep.  

‘It has been exhausting, luckily I had two natural pregnancies with my partner before my hysterectomy, so I became a mother before things got too risky, eventually becoming impossible for me to do so’ she is pictured after her hysterectomy 

‘I can’t work, I can’t seem to be cured and because of this it’s impossible to have a normal life.

‘As a result of all of this I now have other conditions, Insomnia is one of them, which means I can only sleep for three hours a night.

‘It has been exhausting, luckily I had two natural pregnancies with my partner before my hysterectomy, so I became a mother before things got too risky, eventually becoming impossible for me to do so.

WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?

Endometriosis occurs when cells in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body. 

Each month, these cells react in the same way as those in the womb; building up, breaking down and bleeding. Yet, the blood has no way to escape the body.

Symptoms include pain, heavy periods and fatigue, as well as a higher risk of infertility, and bowel and bladder problems.

Its cause is unknown but may be genetic, related to problems with the immune system or exposure to chemicals.

Treatment focuses on pain relief and improving quality of life, which may include surgery or hormone treatment.

Source: Endometriosis UK

‘Now I just want people to take a better look at the condition, there must be thousands of other women like that are being left to suffer.

‘It’s not that I blame the doctors, everyone I have dealt with has always been great, but there must be more research on this condition so mothers like me can recover.’

It comes as Boris Johnson plunged the UK into coronavirus lockdown that could last months – ordering the immediate closure of all shops selling non-essential goods, as well as playgrounds and churches as he told Britons to ‘stay at home’.

Gatherings of more than two people will be banned in the most dramatic curbs ever seen in Britain in peacetime, as the government goes all out to stop the spread of the killer disease. 

Last week the NHS called off all non-emergency operations to free up resources to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed  422 people and infected 8,077 in the UK.

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