Short Bowel Survivor & Friends

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Louise Winstanley' Story

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Louise’s Story

My name is Louise Winstanley, nee Sharrock. I was born on the 16th December 1981.
 I was born with only 27 inches of my small intestine and was the first person to have a bowel lengthening procedure, performed by Mr Adrian Bianchi, at Pendlebury Children’s H Hospital in February 1982.

I never really understood just how poorly I was as a child because I have always lived what seemed to me a normal and healthy life.

Looking back, now that I am 28 years old and thinking about how things were, I was undoubtedly different from other children, in the sense that I was always the child who was never full and hovered around the buffet at parties instead of playing with the other children.

There was never a day that went bye that I wasn’t complaining of stomach ache and constantly needing to go to the toilet, sometimes up to ten times a day but this was normal for me and didn’t stop me from being the loud, lively, show off child that I was.

As a teenager I was more aware of the stomach pains, mainly the bloating, apart from it being so uncomfortable, my stomach would swell to the point that I physically looked pregnant and that was hard to deal with. Nevertheless I had a normal adolescence with the same raging hormones, into parties and boys like the next girl!

At seventeen, I met my now wonderful husband David. Living with my condition became more apparent when we were starting a family. I suffered a number of early miscarriages, which is believed to have no relevance to my condition. However it made us more aware that I was unable to follow routine medical procedures. None of this stopped us from trying for a baby.

In 2003 I became pregnant. It was fantastic news for all the family. It was decided that I should be admitted to St Mary’s Hospital, where I had checks every two weeks. My pregnancy was normal. I was taken in on the 4th January to be induced so that they could monitor the birth. On Thursday the 8th January I gave birth two days before my due date to a very healthy baby boy – Reece Louis Winstanley, weighing 6 pounds one ounce.