A 21-year-old woman from Netherlands hasn’t eaten in more
than four years because of a rare disease.
Kelly Beckers suffers from chronic idiopathic intestinal
pseudo-obstruction (CIIP), a rare gastrointestinal disorder that has destroyed
her entire digestive tract.
Her intestines and stomach aren’t working because of the
disease, which she contracted after complications that arose because of being
The woman has since been given an IV-line into one of her arteries,
so she can receive the vital nutrients needed to survive.
Kelly also has two ostomy bags to collect her faeces, as
well as a line running from her, which used to discharge her bile.
She hasn’t eaten in four-and-a-half years and says she
doesn’t miss it and only longs for the social aspect around eating.
"Think of it: what will you do if you want to meet with
your friends for a fun day? Everything revolves around food. I can't partake in
that, so often I sit there rather uncomfortable with a cup of light broth just
for the form," she says.
Despite the serious – and potentially fatal – disease, Kelly
remains positive and came forward with her story on World Ostomy Day which was
observed Saturday 6 October to speak more about her disease and encourage
others suffering from it.
"I'm living life to the fullest and I try to get
everything out of it," she said.
Because of the IV-line into her artery, Kelly runs the risks
of infections which would cause blood poisoning.
"I had this so many times before, with even antibiotics
not working. If I get sick again now, the chance is high that I’ll die.
"In November I was on the edge of death. An infection
started in my IV-line which stops 3cm away from my heart. My parents then even
said their farewells to me because it looked like I’d die. The line was then
removed, which was my luck," she added.
Kelly said she’s not ashamed of her body despite the many
lines and ostomy bags.
"I hope the taboo around ostomy bags gets less and people
dare to ask questions to me instead of just staring."
Even though she’s unable to work because of her disease,
Kelly is giving classes about her disease at schools and volunteers at the
local sports club.
Kelly lives on her own with her support dog Lyfke.
"Because of Lyfke I got a big part of my independence
back,” she said.
Source: Magazine Features