A woman whose & # 39; stomach exploded & # 39; because of Crohn's disease is now engaged to a fellow sufferer she met on a Facebook support group.
Chloe Meade, 25, was left with a 20 cm (7.8 inch) scar along her stomach after developing an infected abscess in January 2015. Less than three months later, the scar burst and left an & # 39; gaping hole & # 39; behind.
Around this time, Miss Meade had online contact with fellow Crohn's patient Rhys Thomas (30).
The couple only met two years later when they met in a hospital in Cardiff.
After a two-year romance, Mr Thomas asked the question during a trip to Amsterdam last Saturday.
The couple, who are planning to marry in 2021, even say they are & # 39; grateful & # 39; are that they have Crohn's because it takes them to their & # 39; soulmate & # 39; led.
Chloe Meade and Rhys Thomas van Crohn were engaged last Saturday (see left) in Amsterdam after a meeting on a Facebook support group in 2015. The couple supported each other during their illness, as a result of which Miss Meade left a stoma bag behind (seen on the right))
Miss Meade was left with a 20 cm (7.8 inch) scar in her belly after developing an infected abscess in January 2015. Less than three months later, the scar burst and left a & # 39; gaping hole & # 39; behind. Her belly is depicted after the test. It took weeks to heal
Mrs. Meade is pictured with a photo of the scar from her surgery
Speaking of romance, Mrs. Meade said: “I had never thought that an inflammatory bowel disease would cause me to find my soul mate.
& # 39; I am grateful that I have Crohn's every day. It has brought terrible pain to my life, but it also brought me the greatest things in life (including) my fiancé & # 39 ;.
Thomas added: & # 39; Although Crohn has greatly influenced our lives, we are in a way glad that we both have it because it has brought us together. & # 39;
WHAT IS FLAMMING INSULATION?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a medical term that describes a group of conditions in which the intestines become inflamed (red and swollen).
Two important types of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis affects the colon (large intestine), while Crohn's disease can occur in any part of the intestines.
Symptoms can be:
- Abdominal cramps and pain are common
- Watery diarrhea (can be bloody)
- Severe bowel movements
- Fever during active stages of illness
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Fatigue and anemia tiredness (due to blood loss)
People of any age can get IBD, but it is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40.
The conditions are chronic and cannot be cured, so treatment is usually dependent on medication and lifestyle changes to control symptoms, but may also include surgery.
IBD is thought to affect around three million people in the US, more than 300,000 British and 85,000 Australians.
Miss Meade, a pharmacist's assistant, was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2005, when she was only 11 years old.
Years later, she suffered from an infected abscess – a complication that is common in Crohn's patients – and which needed emergency surgery.
The operation was a success and she was left with a scar in her stomach.
However, ten weeks later, the wound became infected. Miss Meade claims that her scar burst and left a gaping hole.
It was just like a horror movie, & she said. & # 39; My scar opened completely.
& # 39; I could look right through my scar in my stomach & # 39 ;.
After she had overcome the ordeal, Miss Meade went under the knife again last year.
Doctors removed part of her colon, along with her rectum and gallbladder, in a nine-hour operation. She was then given a permanent stoma bag.
& # 39; We have been through a lot in recent years, especially that Chloe underwent a life-changing operation last year, but recently everything came together for us & # 39 ;, said Mr. Thomas.
Mr. Thomas, director of a translation agency, was diagnosed in 2008 at the age of 19. He regularly suffers from fatigue, ulcers and abdominal cramps.
After becoming Facebook friends, the couple talked online about their condition, with Mr. Thomas asking his now fiance for advice on medication.
Two years later Mrs. Meade went to a hospital in Cardiff for an iron transfusion. Thomas received autoimmune injections there.
& # 39; It was a huge coincidence that Chloe and I met in hospital that time, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; Chloe was in the treatment room and we caught eyes. We started chatting when we realized that we were friends on Facebook. & # 39;
Miss Meade claims that she & # 39; never & # 39; expected a Crohn support group to lead her to her & # 39; soulmate & # 39;
The couple (pictured on their engagement) are & # 39; grateful & # 39; that they have Crohn's – despite all the pain, fatigue and cramps – because it brought them together. They are planning to marry in 2021
Miss Meade (photo on the left in the hospital) suffered mainly from her condition. In 2015 she had an infected abscess. She was operated on, but the scar burst later. Once healed, she needed surgery to remove much of her colon, leaving her with a stoma (right)
A month after they met in the hospital, Mrs. Meade with the complications had to be brought from Crohn to A&E while attending a wedding.
At the hospital, Mrs. Meade told Mr. Thomas about the trial via Facebook. He came to pick her up as soon as she was fired and took her to where her parents were staying.
Miss Meade was re-admitted later, this time for a week. Mr. Thomas would visit every day, which led to their flourishing romance.
& # 39; While she was in the hospital, I brought her chocolates and talked to her because I wanted to be there for her, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; I also took her with us on our first real & # 39; date & # 39; to the KFC near the hospital before she was discharged. & # 39;
The pair became official in September 2017, with Miss Meade only two months later at Mr. Thomas move in. In December last year they bought a flat together.
After he had planned the proposal for months, Mr. Thomas asked the question last weekend.
& # 39; The moment that Rhys and I were engaged was very surreal, it is a bit blurry, & # 39; said Mrs. Meade.
& # 39; I heard our number, & # 39; Wherever you go & play The Calling, while I went up the stairs on the roof terrace, I thought, "It happens, he's really going to introduce it!"
& # 39; Of course I immediately said yes, it was just perfect, he had thought of every detail to make it perfect for me, I could not have wished any more. & # 39;
The couple (left) became official before Miss Meade was released from her last operation. Mr. Thomas would visit chocolates. Miss Meade (photo on the right in the hospital) claims that Crohn & # 39; s & # 39; brought terrible pain to her life but also brought her the greatest things in life & # 39;
Mr. Thomas asked the question on a romantic location on the roof overlooking a windmill
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