A young bride has spoken of the huge dilemma she faced over whether to have her large intestine removed, meaning she would need an ileostomy bag for the rest of her life. 

Lauren Henderson was just 25 when doctors said she would need surgery to treat Crohn?s disease, which causes the lining of the digestive system to become inflamed.

Her condition had become so bad that doctors said she would need surgery to relieve pressure on the large intestine, instead fitting her with a bag to collect solid digestive waste.

She said: ?I debated whether to get the surgery. I kept turning over in my mind whether it would change my image.

?I feared the unknown ? what people would think, whether my relationships would change.?

She eventually decided to go ahead with the surgery and, far from hiding from the consequences of her illness, wore her ileostomy bag on honeymoon as proof that she survived her life-changing Crohn?s disease diagnosis.

She said: ?After everything, it?s been perfectly manageable and I?m so glad I had the surgery. I can?t believe I went for so long being in such pain.?

Mrs Henderson, who has a three-year-old son, Teddy, was diagnosed with the condition four years ago.

She said: ?At first, I thought my upset tummy was due to food poisoning. It started getting particularly bad during my final year of university. I was so ill that I was crying in front my tutor.

?It felt like there was a hot stone bouncing around in my lower abdomen. It was mortifying to have to run to the loo so frequently, sometimes mid-conversation.

?When the diagnosis finally came I was relieved I didn?t have cancer, but for a while I was in denial about how I would need to deal with Crohn?s for the rest of my life.?

Mrs Henderson, a drama teacher, met her husband Kieran, an IT specialist, on a plane to Benidorm in August 2011.

In the first few weeks of their relationship, Mrs Henderson, now 26, hesitated from informing her new partner about the full extent of her incurable condition.


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