A rare condition has left a young woman unable to urinate for the last three years.
Vikki Black, from Cumbria in England – thought she was suffering from cystitis, a common type of urinary tract infection – when she first started struggling to relieve herself, Metro reports.
But the 23-year-old’s agony worsened with every trip to the bathroom, until she wasn’t able to wee at all.
Due to the retention of her urine, Vikki’s stomach drastically started swelling and she was forced to seek professional medical help.
“I looked 20 weeks pregnant,” she told English daily.
“I was so worried I called my dad and he took me to hospital. I was bursting. I knew I needed to go, I just couldn’t.”
According to The Sun, she was rushed to a local hospital where an emergency catheter was inserted into her bladder to drain the urine.
A shocking discovery was made – 1200ml of urine was found in her bladder (a bladder normally only holds 500ml urine at full capacity).
Vikki, a health engineer, was instantly relieved and thought her nightmare was over, but the very next day, her belly was swollen again.
She returned to the same hospital and was, once again, given a catheter to help drain the liquid.
For a year, the gorgeous blonde was forced to go about her daily life with the tube in place. Until late 2015, when doctors were finally able to diagnose her, says Deccan Chronicle.
An urodynamic test – which involves inserting a catheter in the bladder and rectum – showed that she was suffering from Fowler’s Syndrome.
During the test, the bladder is slowly filled with saline salt water. Thereafter, the patient passes urine while doctors closely monitor the bladder muscles in response to the urine flow rate.
Fowler’s Syndrome normally affects women aged 20-40 and can occur as a result of an operation or simply without reason, as in Vikki’s case.
“It’s so rare that often, when I visit the doctors of the hospital, people haven’t heard of it,” she says.
“But it has a huge impact.
“Because of the catheter, I’ve had a lot of kidney infections. I’ve probably suffered around 90 infections and been in and out of hospital.”
According to Metro.co.uk, she now hopes to raise enough funds to undergo sacral nerve stimulation, where small electrical pulses stimulate nerves in the lower back, affecting bladder control.
“It’s my last hope. I’m desperate to go to the loo.”
Sources: Metro.co.uk, Thesun.co.uk, Deccanchronicle.com