A woman desperately hoping for a cure from her mysterious illness has given birth to ‘miracle’ twins – despite having been unable to eat or drink for the past decade.
Ann-Marie Williams, 40, of St Just, Cornwall, spent a decade searching for answers to an unknown disease that has made her too sick to consume food unless fed through a tube.
But last year, at rock bottom in the midst of a desperate search for a cure, she was left dumbfounded when doctors told her she was 18 weeks pregnant with twins.
And despite showing no signs of a bump during her pregnancy and not having eaten without the help of an IV pump, she gave birth to two healthy baby girls, Morwenna and Elowen, in January.
Ann-Marie’s problems started after a week’s vacation to Turkey. When she returned, she became ill with flu-like symptoms.
But since then, every time she eats or drinks, she hasn’t been able to keep it down as her weight dropped to just six and a half stones before. Ann-Marie is now raising money to talk to private doctors who may be able to help with a cure.
Ann-Marie Williams (pictured with her twins), 40, from St Just, Cornwall, spent ten years looking for answers to an unknown illness that has made her too sick to consume food unless fed through a tube
But last year, at rock bottom in the midst of a desperate search for a cure, Ann-Marie (pictured) was left dumbfounded when doctors told her she was 18 weeks pregnant with twins.
Ann-Marie said of the birth of her twins: “It was an absolute shock, but a miracle at the same time. I missed a period in June and did a pregnancy test, but it was negative, so I applied it to my health and overcoming sepsis.
‘I then had a blood test and it was out, but I was not known to be pregnant. Some of my illness symptoms were actually starting to feel better at this point and I had a few hours a day where I didn’t feel too bad, which was strange, but I had no idea. ‘
For four years now, Ann-Marie has been hooked up to a machine that feeds her and she finds herself struggling every day.
But now more than ever, the mother of two is hopeful that she will find a cure to give her “ miracle girls ” the youth she had.
In the past year, Ann-Marie has recovered from sepsis three times, has been diagnosed with Covid-19, and has undergone a cesarean section to give birth to her surprising twins.
Last year, before there was any news of the babies, she made the decision to return to Cornwall from Bristol to live with her parents as her health continued to deteriorate.
Now she is grateful for that decision, as her parents and partner are the ones who take the most care of the babies because she is too sick.
About 10 years ago, Ann-Marie went on holiday in Turkey with her friends for a week, but fell ill when she returned. What started as flu symptoms lasted about three days, then disappeared.
And despite showing no signs of a bump and having not eaten during her pregnancy without the help of an IV pump, Ann-Marie (pictured right, then 22 weeks pregnant) gave birth to two healthy baby girls, Morwenna and Elowen, in January.
Two weeks later she felt sick again and it continued. Since then, every time she eats or drinks something, she can’t suppress it.
Ann-Marie said, “I started to lose weight and dropped to eight stone. The doctors just thought it was something I picked up on vacation, but it didn’t go away. ‘
Over the next few years, she tried numerous medical tests, herbal treatments, and even a stomach-emptying study, which found that her stomach and intestines were severely slowed down.
After dropping to six and a half stone, she had a Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) line applied. It pumps all the calories and nutrition she needs into her system so she doesn’t have to eat or drink.
Remarkably, this also fed the twins during her pregnancy. Ann-Marie believes they may be the only babies to be fed exclusively in this way before birth.
Ann-Marie said, “I didn’t show up. But I would have a lump in my stomach that would come out and then go again and I was in a lot of pain. ‘
Ann-Marie’s (photo) problems started after a weeklong vacation to Turkey. When she returned, she became ill with flu-like symptoms
Doctors were concerned, so she was admitted at night for tests where a urine test showed she was pregnant.
Ann-Marie said, “My jaw just fell open. That can’t be right, I thought and then everything dawned on me.
‘As [a nurse] told me the doctor was coming to pick me up for an ultrasound and there was a break and I just knew he was going to say it was twins.
‘I was so in shock that I just cried and couldn’t even look at the screen. I had no idea how to tell my partner and I told him later in the day and he couldn’t even speak.
‘I don’t eat or drink, I live on IV nutrition and these babies had survived so long. I didn’t even understand how it was possible. ‘
Later doctors told her that the intravenous feeder would not have affected the babies because it contained all the vitamins and nutrients Ann-Marie needed.
Ann-Marie said, “Since I feel very sick all the time, I assumed something was getting worse and then things got a little bit better, but I’m always extremely sick so I couldn’t have known.”
Always wanted to be a mother, Ann-Marie admitted that she can’t do much for the twins at the moment and makes her cry every day.
During her pregnancy, Ann-Marie had a few difficult months and was hospitalized on December 8, where she stayed for eight weeks before giving birth via Caesarean section at 34 weeks.
Ann-Marie, who then contracted Covid-19 and couldn’t be with her children for a while, said, “They were tube fed for a few weeks after birth and then everything was fine.”
She has since communicated with private doctors and says there are some promising tests available that she will apply for in the hope of finding answers.
Ann-Marie said, “I’m trying to find a really specialist doctor and I’ve gotten to the point where I wonder if that person is there, if he exists.
“I have spoken to many doctors and alternative doctors over the years and they all say there is a lot going on and my situation is so complex that no one knows where to start.
‘It really scares me that I will never be the person I want to be to the twins and every day I have to cry when I look at them. I had a great childhood and I want to do all those things for them and take them in their prams.
‘They are so beautiful and I want people to see them. I’m so scared they don’t know who their mom is because I can’t do all of that. All I can offer is hugs and tell them I love them. ‘
To donate to a fundraiser to support Ann-Marie’s quest for one diagnosis, visit: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/8azyc-help-to-find-a-cure