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Nurse becomes an unlikely Instagram influencer after her life was transformed by a stoma bag


An intensive care nurse whose life was transformed by a stoma bag - fitted to collect her waste - has vowed to banish the stigma surrounding digestive diseases by starting an Instagram and a social group for fellow bag wearers. Already attracting 30 members to her first 'Bowels and Brews' meeting last December, Bethany Fenwick, 30, of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, revealed how she accepted her stoma bag the moment she saw it, knowing that the alternative meant rushing to the toilet 40 times a day. Suffering with crippling Crohn's disease - causing inflammation of the gut - in her colon, small bowel, rectum and mouth, before her surgery in August 2019, Bethany, who lives with her insurance worker partner Mark Upperdine, 35, and their daughter, Violet, three , spent her "life on the loo" with debilitating diarrhoea. Determined to show people that life with a bag was far better than the alternative, when she got one following ileostomy surgery to divert her small bowel, via a stoma or opening in her abdomen covered by a waste collection bag, in August 2019, she started an Instagram called Beth Without A Bowel. By sharing pictures of her stoma bag, Beth soon gathered 1,300 followers, saying: "I want to show people that you can carry on life with a stoma bag and it's not as bad as people might think. "People feel sorry for me now, but I tell them not to, as my life's great," she said.

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