Bride-to-be whose body rejects food left bed-bound and in agonising pain
A bride-to-be battling two debilitating conditions has told how her body is deteriorating because it rejects food.
Emma Green, 31, has been left mostly bed-bound and feeling "like an old lady" because she is constantly weak and in agonising pain.
The Derby woman's body will not accept food, so the only thing she can consume is a specially-prescribed hospital drink – Elemental Extra 028 – which goes directly into her bloodstream.
Emma uses a wheelchair to get around, but she hopes a £26,000 life-saving operation in Germany will allow her to walk down the aisle at her wedding next year, Derbyshire Live reports.
She is battling rare arterial vein compressions, which causes agonising pelvic, groin and hip pain, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which affects the skin, bones and blood vessels.
Next week, she will fly to Germany for an operation. The surgery, specialist hospital treatment and flights will cost 30,000 euros.
Emma said she will marry her fiancé Ben Mole next February if the surgery is successful.
She said: "I spend the majority of my days lying down, I'm pretty much bed-bound. I feel like an old lady, I get very, very tired very easily.
"I'm in a wheelchair constantly because the pressure of standing up causes me agony in my groin. I also lose the feeling in my left leg and eventually collapse.
"Even in the wheelchair I'm in pain, looking up for too long makes me feel dizzy.
"I haven't got any independence – I miss driving, going swimming and food shopping. Swimming was the only exercise my EDS could tolerate, but I can't even do that now.
"The more I move and the more I sit up, the more debilitated I get. I'm just trying to preserve myself as much as possible.
"It would mean so much to me to not be in a wheelchair going down the aisle. The wedding is a big thing which is keeping me motivated at the moment."
It is believed Emma's health problems began when she had surgery at 15 to correct her S-shaped spine caused by scoliosis.
She underwent her first set of surgeries in Germany two years ago which allowed her to walk and eat properly for the first time in years.
Emma, a keen singer and artist, said: "As soon as I woke up post-surgery I could breathe and smell properly for the first time, and talk for longer too.
"I could never get a full breath before, I was constantly feeling like I wasn't taking enough air in.
"I could sing and reach notes I've never reached before. I felt like a new person.
"For two years, I was able to work from home, and I've set up a small business online, selling on Amazon.
"I was out of the wheelchair, I was back driving. Before the surgery I hadn't driven for three years."
But her condition has deteriorated since last Christmas as excess scar tissue blocked the blood flow to her left kidney.
Her condition is not as serious this time, she said, but her body is rejecting food and she is losing weight.
Emma said: "When I eat food, I only eat little bits which keep my stomach working throughout the day, but I don't get the nutrients and don't feel the energy from it. I'll have diarrhoea or eventually be sick if I eat too much.
"I know I've lost weight because my clothes don't fit the same. It is like a slow deterioration.
"I'm not as poorly as I was last time, but I am very poorly when compared to a normal person.
"I worry that if its left I could get infected because when I eat the food, it doesn't get broken down and I struggle with my immune system.
"I'm avoiding a life-threatening situation by not doing anything right now. But, if I don't do anything, my life is just passing by.
"I'm hoping that after the treatment I'll be able to cook, eat and drive again, even if it is for 15 minutes."
Emma has been supported by family and friends, including her best pal Katie Gibson, who recently raised £3,500 in a 12-hour sponsored run.
Her fiancé Ben, an artist, has raised £1,500.
Click here for more information on Emma's fundraising campaign to cover the cost of her surgery.
What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) are a group of rare inherited conditions that affects connective tissue, the NHS says.
Connective tissues provide support in skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, internal organs and bones.
Severe types of EDS can be life threatening.
The different types of EDS are caused by faults in certain genes that make connective tissue weaker.
The NHS says: "EDS can affect people in different ways. For some, the condition is relatively mild, while for others their symptoms can be disabling.
"Some of the rare, severe types can be life threatening."
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