A British woman who nearly died of a
serious bowel condition has gone on to become
a bodybuilding world champion.
Zoey Wright, from Cornwall in England,
was recently crowned the world champion fitness model despite her long battle
with ulcerative colitis – an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes
long-lasting inflammation and ulcers, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The 25-year-old’s condition grew so severe that she had
lifesaving surgery to give her an ileostomy ostomy bag – a bag that covers a
stoma and collects waste.
According to New
York Post, it all started in 2012 when Zoey noticed her rapid weight loss.
Doctors discovered that it was her body’s response to the
lining of her bowel wall coming under attack from her white blood cells.
Zoey, who’s a former sports rehabilitation student, had ulcers
on the lining of her large intestine and chronic pain.
After years of suffering, Zoey made the decision to receive
ileostomy surgery - a surgical procedure that sees the small intestine brought
out and stitched to the front of the abdomen – in November 2014.
Just ten months after her surgery, Zoey decided to start
competing in fitness competitions for the first time in her life, reports Fitness
The 25-year-old, who turned to bodybuilding as a stress
reliever, has since won the overall world
champion title for the largest growing modelling
And to top it all off, Zoey has won a countrywide
competition to become the face of well-known sports nutrition brand, USN.
“After my surgery three years ago I never thought I’d be
where I am today,” says Zoey.
“I’m so excited to work with USN and can’t wait to help
promote their ethos, ‘challenge yourself’ – something I live by every single
“I’ve been through some extremely tough times accepting my
illness. As a young female having the surgery had a massive impact on my body
confidence, so when I chose to become a fitness model and step on stage it was
really about stepping out of my comfort zone.”
The bodybuilder told Metro
News that she’s perfectly healthy and has felt in tip-top shape since her
“Having surgery has enabled me to reach my full potential as
an athlete, before my op it was a constant battle every single day just to get
out of bed.
“I’m passionate about creating awareness by simply just
doing what I love to do. Of course, I
still want to create awareness for IBD but that isn’t who I am – I’m me.
“I’m a professional athlete just following my dreams ‘flaws and
all’ because you only live once, right,” she says.
Zoey now encourages people who are struggling with health or
mental issues to simply step out of their comfort zone.
“My message to anyone struggling in life whether that’s with
IBD, other health conditions or mental health issues is to do one thing every
day that scares you, something that challenges you to step outside of your