Mum’s C-section scar opens and she needs 7 organs to survive
Michelle woke up one morning in 2014 to the horrifying sight of her C-section scar burst open.
The UK mum had given birth to her daughter Keira over ten years earlier - but somehow a fistula had developed, "leaking blood and faeces" across the bed.
Although the 43-year-old has battled Crohn's disease since her early teens - nothing could have prepared her for this.
To make matters worse, as a result of her scar opening, Michelle's digestive organs started shutting down less than a year later.
"My organs have stopped working, I still have a hole in my stomach and a permanent colostomy bag," Michelle said.
"Some mornings I cannot stand upright because of the pain.
"It sounds morbid - but it's only a matter of time before I die."
In fact, over the past couple of years, Michelle has been told she only has "a few days of life left" on numerous occasions.
The most recent was in 2018 when Michelle was discovered by her now-wife Laura "unresponsive and staring into space".
"The next thing I remember was the room filling up with doctors," she said.
"I had gone into septic shock due to infections caused by Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and my veins giving in after being pumped with liquid nutrients for the last four years.
"Once they stabilised me, they told Laura to come in so we could say our goodbyes because I would not make it to the next day.
"Saying goodbye to my daughter Keira, and Laura, was one of the hardest moments I have ever faced."
Thankfully, Michelle managed to pull through, slowly gaining weight until she was allowed to go home.
Just six weeks later, she and Laura managed to get married.
The pair had been engaged for years but had been unable to plan a wedding due to Michelle's poor health.
Since then, Michelle's condition has continued to deteriorate.
She is now unable to digest food and relies on a home nurse six nights a week to admitter liquid feeds directly into her major arteries.
"I'm sick and tired of it," she said.
"Every month I end up in hospital with sepsis and it is getting worse each time.
"My quality of life is so bad that I'm willing to gamble - half of my insides are being replaced.
"I want this gaping hole in my stomach to go, I can't do anything, it has completely taken over my life."
Michelle just wanted her and Laura to have a normal life together.
It's become so overwhelming that Michelle has had no choice but to place herself on the transplant list.
She is now desperately waiting for seven organs to become available - a bowel, colon, large and small intestine, liver, pancreas and half of a stomach.
To make things even more complicated, all of the organs must come from the same donor.
Despite this, Michelle remains positive that within the next month she will be able to undergo the incredibly risky 20-hour surgery needed to transplant the organs.
"Making the choice to have surgery was hard, but I'm desperate," she said.
"I want my quality of life back; I want to enjoy days out with my family just like everyone else," she said.
"I'm risking this for them - for better or for worse.
"The idea that I have a 35 per cent chance of never waking up is terrifying," she said.
"What I always remember is that there's also a 65 per cent chance that I'll wake up better."
In reality, if Michelle makes it through the surgery, she won't wake up feeling better straight away.
She will spend 10 months in hospital and a further 14 months at home before being given the all-clear.
"Two years' recovery sounds awful but that's how bad my health is," she said.
"Laura will be with me the whole time in hospital accommodation.
"She hates seeing me in pain and she has watched me get more and more unwell - but she's petrified.
"Surgery will change everything."
This originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.