Woman Fights For Her Life Against Disease That Starves Her
A former model who weighs just 94.4lbs (6.7stone) is fighting a rare condition that prevents her from gaining WEIGHT.
In 2013 Lisa Brown was diagnosed with Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome (SMAS) – a digestive system disorder that blocks part of the intestine.
The debilitating illness, with only 400 known cases, left the 32-year-old unable to eat without vomiting or suffering severe pain and essentially starved her.
Lisa from Brookfield in Wisconsin, USA, plummeted from a healthy 140lbs to 87lbs, causing irreversible damage to her body from the malnutrition.
After having corrective surgery in 2014 Lisa initially felt better but her symptoms returned and her weight dropped again.
She was hooked up to a feeding device for 20 hours a day, underwent further surgery and now weighs 8lbs more than she did when admitted to the Cleveland Clinic in May.
Lisa had her third operation at the clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, last Thursday (July 16) to replace the feeding device with a jejunostomy tube to allow for better mobility.
Tragically one third of SMAS patients don’t survive, but Lisa refuses to give up hope.
She said: “I have many hopes for the future, but I try to be somewhat short term and realistic about them.
“I take much joy in small things after I have lost so much – staying positive for someone who is as chronically ill as I am is more of a team effort.
“My family is a huge part of my life and live close to my husband and I.
“Having the medical team here at the Cleveland Clinic also is a giant part on the road to recovery, because even though it is slow and not easy, we are finally making progress forward.”
“I hope long term that I will be able to eat somewhat normally by mouth again.
“I love to cook so much and it brings me joy to cook for others, so it would be amazing to share the food I make and eat with them.”
Lisa and her husband Patrick were married in 2010 before she was ill.
And she would love to one day return to the resort in Mexico where they spent their honeymoon and had gone back every wedding anniversary until Lisa was too ill.
She added: “Even though I have lost so very much, I try to think of all I have gained enduring this journey.
“My art is helpful I like paper crafting, drawing and making jewellery and mixed media art decor using antiques and vintage pieces.”
Lisa’s biggest dream is to recover and spread awareness about SMAS.
She said: “I hope to educate the public about SMAS, and the public in general about not passing judgement on others because of the way they look.
“Everybody has a story behind their smile, so never judge someone.
“I want to continue to help others advocate for their health and doing more and more as I become healthier.”
The couple have sent up a GoFundMe page for donations to help cover Lisa’s medical costs at www.gofundme.com/LisaBrown