A determined student who was diagnosed with a severe stomach condition which caused her to vomit up to 30 times a day is abseiling the Royal Liverpool University Hospital to say thank you to the staff who are treating her.
21-year-old Hannah Hughes from Penyffordd in Chester was diagnosed with Gastroparesis in 2015 following two years of tests.
The chronic stomach condition, which causes Hannah to need a feeding tube, means food passes through her stomach more slowly than usual.
Hannah, who is set to study nutrition at Liverpool Hope University, first began to feel ill at the age of 11 and, following several visits to her local hospital, she was referred to specialists at the Royal in 2013.
Hannah said: “I gradually became more and more ill. The pain and vomiting just got worse and worse until it was continual on a daily basis. I also have another chronic condition, Vestibular Migraine, which I am medicated for, but still have occasional vertigo attacks which can last for five to eight hours.”
Hannah’s stomach condition means she has to follow an extremely strict diet and use a nasal feeding tube as a way of getting enough nutrients.
“I can’t drink water because my stomach usually rejects it and I can only drink a limited amount of fizzy drinks to keep hydrated. I can't eat meat or many types of vegetables but I now have small portions of a vegetarian and vegan diet to support my tube feeding.
“I take a lot of medication daily and will probably have to do so for the rest of my life. I also have other medical problems being investigated but I intend to carry on with my life and accomplish my goals.
“I originally wanted to be a teacher but my Gastroparesis meant I wasn’t able to do that. Through living with the condition, I’ve developed a keen interest in nutrition and I’ve just been offered a place on a degree course at Liverpool Hope University – I’d love to work with children and young people who also have stomach conditions, feeding problems or restricted diets.”
This isn't the first time that Hannah will take to the ropes. The determined 21-year-old used to enjoy abseiling with the cadets and Guides before her condition forced her to stop.
“I get tired very easily and I am in constant pain and nausea so doing the things I used to enjoy is really hard. As well as being part of the cadets at school, I used to love playing football and netball but I can’t do that anymore.
“I was very sporty and used to sail, ski, swim, and horse ride, but I am too poorly most of the time to even think about those activities. I still try to go out with my friends occasionally, when I feel well enough, but I usually need to come home early.”
Now Hannah wants to use R Charity’s 200ft abseil to show her gratitude to staff at the Royal who are helping her to get her life back.
“I just want to say thank you to the staff who are looking after me. I’ll always remember them saying ‘let’s get you sorted so you can get your life back’ – that’s all they’ve ever wanted for me; to have the life a 21-year-old should have.
“I’m feeling nervous about the abseil. None of the abseils I’ve done before have been as high as the Royal, but I’m putting that to one side to raise funds for the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital – even though I’ll probably need a week of rest afterwards!”
R Charity’s abseil takes place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 March at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Registration to abseil for R Charity costs £25. Interested? Call Loren on 0151 706 3150 or email Loren.email@example.com.
You can donate to Hannah’s challenge at: www.justgiving.com/Hannahhughes21.
Hear more from Hannah by watching this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhxntmMET0M
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