20-Year-Old Has Gone Viral After Posting Brutally Honest Bikini Photos

Posted by Sughra Hafeez in Amazing On 4th February 2018

This inspirational young woman has been sharing pictures of her ileostomy bag with her 11K Instagram followers after having her large intestine removed as a result of Crohn’s disease – and says it was the best decision of her life.

Growing up, Bethany Purnell thought she was just like any other kid.

Unfortunately, at just 10 years old, severe abdominal pain and fatigue took over her life.

Doctors diagnosed Bethany with Crohn’s disease, a condition that she still lives with today.

After medication and specialist diets failed to help her symptoms, Bethany had her large intestine, or colon, removed aged 17 and was fitted with an ileostomy, or ostomy, bag.

An ileostomy is a procedure that sees the small intestine is diverted an opening in the abdomen, known as a stoma.

An ostomy bag also called a stoma bag or ileostomy bag is used to collect the waste produced by the body as it can no longer pass through the rectum.

Going to school, Bethany didn’t tell anyone about her condition apart from her closest friends and had her large intestine, or colon, removed at 17.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Crohn’s disease is a variety of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes your digestive tract to become inflamed. This leads to all sorts of gastrointestinal discomfort.

Although there isn’t a known cure for the disease, there are various therapies and treatments available to make living with Crohn’s more bearable.

While she was once embarrassed by her condition, Bethany now proudly shows off her ileostomy bag on Instagram, where she has more than 11,000 followers.

Speaking with UNILAD about how the disease affects her, Bethany explained:

Crohn’s is a life-long disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract.

For me, personally, it causes excruciating abdominal pain, chronic fatigue, inflammation of my joints, diarrhea, bloody stool and it affects my mental health.

My Crohn’s is a severe case. Every medication or diet I tried failed to work. I had no quality of life whatsoever. My life was spent on the toilet or in bed.

In her spare time, Bethany plays the guitar and does nail art.

She hopes to go to college to do a nail technology course when she is well enough to turn her passion into a career.

Bethany admits that she does sometimes have days when she feels down about her condition.

Bethany is very open about her bag and it hasn’t stopped her finding love.

Bethany said society needs to 'end the taboo around poo' because there is still a 'big stigma' attached to it.

She also encouraged anyone suffering from symptoms to see a doctor.

It’s been 1 whole year since I had my last surgery! I had a fistula that formed into an abscess, so I had to have emergency surgery to remove part of my infected intestine & move my Stoma from the right hand side to the left. (Warning!! Graphic photos of my wound). My scar has healed up amazingly! The only downfall is that MY TATTOO IS RUINED 😂 I no longer see my tattoo because my bag is covering it... So instead of saying “Life Takes Guts” it now just says ‘Guts’ 😂 Since my surgery I haven’t been very well.. I tried to restart Remicade / Infliximab and I built up antibodies and ended up having an allergic reaction to it.. But now I’ve just started Stelara / Ustekinumab so fingers crossed that’ll calm everything down and hopefully no more surgeries! It’s been a year of ups and downs but as always, I’m rocking it and hoping for a brighter future🤘

A post shared by Bethy ✌️ (@bethanypurnell) on

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