I was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 7. It started with some blood in my poo and I was sent for a routine Paediatric appointment as I had no other signs of Crohn’s. 3 months later at the Paediatric appointment I was sent straight to the children’s ward at University Hospital Wishaw and given a blood transfusion as I was chronically anaemic. I then had lots of tests including a colonoscopy, endoscopy and an MRI that diagnosed Crohn’s. I was put on a liquid diet for 6 weeks, this was really difficult for me because I love my food. The liquid diet was to allow my bowel to rest. Unfortunately, I was a nonresponder and my symptoms came back worse than ever and I was put on steroids and had to stay in hospital. For the next 3 years I was in and out of hospital at appointments, tests and numerous inpatient stays as the IBD team struggled to find the right treatment for me. I have been on azathioprine tablets that I still take. I was tried on Infliximab infusions that I had to go to hospital for, this was changed to adalimumab injections that are done at home. I would get better for a while then my symptoms would return.
In December 2021 I had to have surgery. This was going to be a right hemicolectomy but my Surgeon reviewed my MRI scan and carried out a smaller surgery of appendectomy and cecectomy. At Christmas of 2019, I was in hospital for 2 weeks and was cheered up by the players from the Glasgow Warriors. They sparked an interest in rugby. After my surgery it took a few months to recover, then I was back on the rugby pitch and I’ve never looked back, I put Crohn’s on the sidelines! The Catherine McEwan Foundation has been a great support. They are amazing at supporting people with Crohn’s and raising awareness around the condition. They put on great activities that allowed me to talk to others going through the same struggles with Crohn’s. Derek has helped me since finding the Catherine McEwan Foundation and whenever I see him he puts a smile on my face.