Many awful illnesses and injuries are covered by the media on a regular basis, but this has to be one of the most unusual and horrible.
Friends of a British woman called Kelly Yeoman have gone public with her condition in an attempt to raise money for specialist treatment, after Yeoman was allegedly injured during a minor procedure, which has had the effect of causing her entire torso to fill up with faeces.
Called faecal impacting, the condition is an extreme form of constipation, in which the bowel entirely stops working on its own, causing the waste to build up until it can’t be passed from the body. It can be caused by excessive use of laxatives, a well as opioid drugs, a lack of exercise, or regular bouts of constipation. It’s more common in older people.
Yeoman, however, is just 34, but her friends say that the ‘slip of a scalpel’ during a minor operation injured her bowel, causing an infection and further surgeries.
“As a result, her bowel is now unable to function, she is now horrifically fecally [sic] impacted (as you can see in the X-ray, her body is literally filling with poo), she is regularly vomiting a foul mixture of her last meal and her own excrement, and she is struggling to breathe,” the friends, led by Kate Rankin, wrote on gofundme.com, where they’re trying to raise money for Yeoman to be moved from a public hospital to a private one with a specialism in bowel conditions.
“For ten long weeks, Kelly has been lying in her hospital bed, on a cocktail of the strongest painkillers, being subjected to a series of increasingly humiliating and painful procedures, while nobody seems able to find a solution,” her friends added.
“At any moment, her bowel could perforate, which (if she is lucky enough to survive the complications) will result in a colostomy bag for the rest of her life … Nothing seems to be working and we are watching her go gradually downhill – she is almost unrecognisable as our happy, strong and determined friend.”
Yeomans herself posted an image publicly on her Facebook page on November 14, showing an X-ray that made clear her chest cavity was filling with faeces, saying “it’s all in my chest too, my diaphragm and lungs are so high up I can barely breathe”.
Their cry for help has let to an outpouring of sympathy, with more than £7,000 (US$9,335, A$12,252) of the £10,000 needed for her private treatment already raised.