A gaping hole on this mum's abdomen leaves her in need of five surgeries - Evewoman
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A gaping hole on this mum's abdomen leaves her in need of five surgeries

Michelle Oddy (Photo: Courtesy)

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A mum whose stomach exploded through her Caesarean section scar now needs an incredibly rare five-organ transplant to save her life.

Michelle Oddy's liver, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine and half of her stomach need to be replaced in a complex and risky operation that will take 20 hours to complete.

There is a 35 per cent chance that the 43-year-old mum-of-one will die on the operating table.

Michelle, who suffers from Crohn's disease, needs five new organs - all from the same donor - to replace most of the lower half of her abdomen after she woke up to find her insides bursting out and leaking bodily fluids.

The mum, from Ilkeston, Derbys, has been left with multiple organ failure due to a fistula - an abnormal opening between organs or other structures in the body.

The hole formed ten years after she gave birth to her daughter via Caesarean section.

Michelle said: "At the end of the day it's only a matter of time before I could pass away, it just gets worse.

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"In 2014, I woke up one morning and my stomach had burst open, it was leaking.

The hole that burst and was leaking blood and bodily fluids was diagnosed as a fistula.

Michelle said: "It's hard to explain, but because I have had so many operations on my bowels, they stopped working so everything just clogs up in my body, and it has to leave somewhere."

In 2015, whilst still having a hole in her stomach that is re-dressed daily by a nurse, Michelle started to dramatically lose weight and gradually dropped to just 25kg (four stone) in weight.

Michelle said: "They told me my organs had packed up and I only had a few days of life left."

Luckily Michelle went to the hospital just in time, and was given a TPN, or liquid feed, that was set up at her home after spending four weeks in hospital.

Six nights a week, a nurse visits Michelle's home to administer the liquid feed, which sends vital nutrients direct to her major arteries.

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Michelle said: "My weight started to get better but I still have a nurse coming to my house to feed me every day, it's just insane, I can't keep living like this.

"My organs have stopped working, I still have a hole in my stomach and a permanent colostomy bag."

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Michelle Oddy in hospital (Photo: Courtesy)

"I had one of the worst days of my life in 2018, I felt ill so I had to go to hospital and after being there for a couple of hours, my wife, Laura, walked in and found me unresponsive and staring into space.

"The next thing I remember was the room filling up with doctors, I had gone into septic shock due to infections caused by the TPN and my veins giving in after being pumped with liquid nutrients for the last four years.

"Once they stabilised me, they told Laura to come in so we could say our goodbyes because I would not make it to the next day.

"Saying goodbye to my daughter, and Laura, was one of the hardest moments I have ever faced.

"Somehow, two hours later I made a full recovery and I decided to marry Laura six weeks later."

Now, with consultants seeing that her artificial feed is failing due to infections destroying her veins, and running out of options, they have put her forward to have five of her organs replaced in an incredibly rare 20 hour surgery that will replace her liver, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine and half of her stomach - which will hopefully give her back a quality of life she has lost.

Michelle said: "The idea that I have a 35 per cent chance of never waking up is terrifying.

"What I always remember is that there's also a 65 per cent chance that I'll wake up better, I'll be able to take my daughter on holiday and we'll be able to swim together.

"I want my quality of life back. I want to enjoy days out with my family just like everyone else.

"Without my wife and daughter, who have been amazing throughout this whole process I would have already given up.

"I'm risking this for them, for better or for worse."

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust consultant transplant surgeon Andrew Butler said: "This procedure, which includes an intestine graft, is rare and certainly complex. We have carried out about 100 such procedures and internationally there have been around 1,500 bowel containing transplants in adults since 1992.

"In the UK, Addenbrooke's Hospital is the only centre that provides adult multivisceral transplants including a liver."

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke

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