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Mother almost lost her life after severe stomach pain caused her to lose three stone quickly

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Mother almost lost her life after severe stomach pain caused her to lose three stone quickly

Birmingham NHS director Joanna Hodgkiss, 44, faced a life-threatening medical ordeal after she unexpectedly developed gallstones, leading to a series of serious complications. Despite maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which included walking 10,000 steps a day and eating a balanced diet without excess fatty foods or alcohol, Joanna was swept into a health crisis with no prior warning signs.

Her ordeal began with intense stomach pain, which doctors initially suspected was an ectopic pregnancy. However, additional tests revealed the presence of gallstones, marking the beginning of his harrowing journey through the disease. The situation quickly escalated when gallstones caused a blockage in his bile duct, leading to serious consequences, including sepsis and two cases of deep vein thrombosis, a condition in which blood clots form in the veins, leading to potentially fatal risks.

The severity of his condition required the use of a feeding tube, through which an additional 1,000 calories were administered into his stomach overnight to combat his drastic weight loss. Over the course of just two months, Joanna’s weight plummeted from 10kg 1lb to 7kg 5lb, a clear indication of the impact her condition had on her fitness, she said. Mirror.

Additionally, Joanna experienced what is known as Intensive Care Unit (ICU) psychosis, a serious mental disorder triggered by her stay in the ICU. This disorder manifested itself in paranoia and hallucinations, to the point that she believed she was being kidnapped by the medical personnel treating her. The psychological effects of psychosis in the ICU are profound, as patients may see hallucinations and suffer delusions, complicating their recovery process and emotional well-being.

Throughout her four-week stay in the ICU, Joanna underwent multiple surgeries to address complications from gallstones. The medical team at Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham worked tirelessly to stabilize her condition, but the road to recovery was fraught with challenges. Her physical and mental health suffered significantly, and the ordeal was not only a personal struggle but also a source of distress for her family.

Her eight-year-old daughter and her husband Olly, 54, witnessed the drastic transformation in Joanna’s health. At one point, her daughter was afraid to be around her because of Joanna’s emaciated appearance and her frequent vomiting. The situation came to a head during a concert on July 1, 2023, where Joanna, experiencing severe stomach pains, urgently informed her husband that something was very wrong. This prompted an immediate ambulance transfer from the event to the hospital, where her diagnosis was confirmed.

Joanna’s experience highlights the unpredictable nature of health problems and the importance of receiving immediate medical attention when unusual pain occurs. Now, still with a drain inserted and awaiting a blood draw operation, Joanna has not yet returned to work and faces significant financial strain due to her medical expenses and her loss of income.

This harrowing experience has motivated Joanna to advocate for awareness and immediate action for those experiencing unexplained pain, underscoring the need for health surveillance even for those leading a seemingly healthy lifestyle. Her ordeal serves as a poignant reminder of how quickly health can deteriorate and the profound impact it can have on both the individual and her loved ones.

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