The disease affects one person in 100,000. At 47, Elaine Doherty suffers from solitary rectal ulcer syndrome, a rare pathology characterized by chronic constipation, colon ulcers and bleeding. Although benign, this condition of the lining of the rectum is life hell for those who suffer from it. Elaine has already been transfused three times and hospitalized more than 150 times. Very weak, skeletal, she has even already suffered three cardiac arrests.
It was at the age of two that the disease would have declared itself. Victim of peritonitis following a ruptured appendix, Elaine passed very close to the end and kept indelible scars. “I was lucky to survive, she confides in the columns of The Sun. My appendix ruptured and my parents told me that there was enough poison in my body to kill three adult men . A priest was even called to pronounce the last rites. I was operated on but I kept big scars on the intestine.” Elaine then began to suffer from abdominal pain. Her condition then deteriorated in adolescence, then in adulthood, following her three pregnancies: “My condition worsened with each pregnancy. I remember once when I was stuck in the toilet vomiting blood, and I had to call Tony (her husband, editor’s note) for help.”
“The rescuers thought my husband had stabbed me, there was so much blood everywhere”
Diagnosed in 2012, Elaine had her colon completely removed and an ostomy pouch placed. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. In 2013, his health deteriorated again. “I was in bed feeling feverish. When I got up I passed out. Tony called 999 (UK emergency number) and told him to give me CPR. help arrived, they thought he had stabbed me because there was blood everywhere. He had to explain to them that I was bleeding from the intestine. He saved my life that day. ” Operated in emergency, Elaine made three cardiac arrests on the operating table.
Today, the mother of the family weighs less than 44 kilos. “Right now, every day is hell, she admits. As soon as I eat, I’m sick and bleeding. I’m in so much pain that I only sleep every three or four nights.” If she happens to have dark thoughts, Elaine says she draws her strength from her family life. “There are days when I feel like I can’t go on. The only thing that keeps me going is Tony and my family. I have two grandchildren and a third is coming. I want to stay alive for them.” There is also hope for a cure. “There is more and more talk about robotic surgery. I really feel that this is my last hope. (…) I would give anything to be able to live a normal life.”
Elaine Doherty © Elaine Doherty