I was a happy healthy 35 year old when I was admitted to hospital with bloody diarrhea. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and when steroids failed I was given an emergency total colectomy. Months in hospital with extreme weight loss and sepsis and a further 2 surgeries and long hospital stays over the space of 3 years I am now the proud owner of a j pouch.

It hasn’t been an easy road, I lost my boyfriend, couldn’t work and had to live on benefits and struggled mentally and physically with my new life. But 5 years on this is my new norm scars and all and I’ve came a long way in accepting what happened. -Donna

You can follow Donna on her journey @myrtlesmemoirs