A woman who couldn’t eat solid food for two years has thanked surgeons at Northwick Park and St Mark’s hospitals for ‘giving me my life back.’
Diana Wassing, 71, endured two failed procedures at another hospital after her stomach pushed itself up into her chest in a condition known as a paraoesophageal hernia
She was initially told to eat pureed food but weeks stretched into months and months into years with any attempt to eat solids resulting in gagging and vomiting.
Her condition became so bad she couldn’t even eat a slice of bread.
Diana, who lives in Northwood, said: “It was absolute hell and being told I just had to live with it was horrible. In retrospect, I was far too trusting and should have sought a second opinion.”
Her condition worsened when she started getting reflux where acid from her stomach was washed back into throat burring it.
“I’d wake up at night literally gasping for air. It was a real nightmare and I was only told retrospectively after the initial procedures that I might never eat solids again. No-one warned me of that before.”
A chance encounter with a woman who had suffered the same problem but had a successful procedure put her in touch with surgeon Alberto Martinez Isla.
Three months after her third procedure she tentatively ate a piece of chicken – the first solid food she could keep down in nearly two years.
“I couldn’t believe it at first. It was such a relief to know I was on the mend.”
Diana is now working her way through a ‘bucket list’ of food that was previously denied her.
“I love my food and to be denied that simple pleasure that everyone takes for granted was life changing. I was in despair until Alberto said he’d do his best to put things right.
“I’ve had a burger, Sunday Roast and Chinese so pizza and curry are next on the list!”
Mr Isla, who specialises in upper intestinal tract surgery, said: “The two nets that were surgically placed to avoid the stomach moving out of place again had become badly twisted and was effectively choking this patient’s oesophagus.
“It was a tricky procedure but her quality of life was badly affected and I wanted to do all I could.
“I’d always advise patients to seek a second opinion if they aren’t happy. No-one in discomfort or pain should simply accept one person’s opinion. “No-one should be afraid to exercise that right.”