A 27-year-old woman whose bowel was stuck to her ovaries could become pain free if her friends can raise the £18,500 needed for a pioneering operation.
Alana Charles, of Bedgrove, Aylesbury, was finally told she had endometriosis last year after enduring eight years of painful symptoms which were misdiagnosed as polycystic ovary syndrome.
The condition means cells from the womb are found elsewhere in the body and act in the same way during menstruation, causing heavy painful periods, stomach cramps and fertility problems as well as contributing towards chronic fatigue and depression.
Miss Charles suffered with bouts of constant chronic abdominal pain, stomach spasms, sluggish bowels and fatigue, meaning she was constantly readmitted to hospital.
Following several laproscopy operations to remove the rogue cells they sadly grew back and caused Miss Charles to relapse once again, meaning she has to take morphine every four hours to manage the pain.
Her final operation last summer at the John Radcliffe Hospital found that her bowel had become stuck to her ovaries, causing the intense pain.
The op gave her relief for the following three months, in which time she was even able to fall pregnant, but sadly the symptoms once again returned and she miscarried.
Miss Charles, who lives with partner of three years Sunil Vadolia, 35, said: “After that operation, I felt the best I’d ever felt but then it came back with a vengeance. I can’t sleep properly and I wake up in the middle of the night in agony.
“I have to sleep in the spare room because I don’t want to disturb Sunil. He hates going to work and leaving me, he wants to stay home and look after me. He’s my rock, I don’t know what I’d do without him.”
But now, the former Mandeville School pupil is being refused any more operations on the NHS and her only hope is the pioneering pelvic peritoneal excision operation at the Spire Hospital in Elland, West Yorkshire.
The operation will change my life. I’m a prisoner in my own home and I don’t want to live like this anymore.Alana Charles
The operation costs £18,500, so Miss Charles’ best friend Katie Richardson and her partner Paul set up the Go Fund Me page on February 21, which has generated more than £5,000 so far.
Miss Charles, who works as a payroll advisor, said: “It’s a silent illness which causes internal bleeding, so I’m used to people not knowing much about it.
“I want to raise awareness and I am blessed to be able to call Katie my friend, she is amazing. She has so much determination and she’s always helping people.
“The operation will change my life. I’m a prisoner in my own home and I don’t want to live like this anymore.
“It sounds strange, but I was diagnosed last year I was so happy. It was such a relief to finally know what was wrong with me, but there are so many women out there who are suffering with this condition and from my experience, doctors don’t have much understanding of it.”
Miss Charles works as a payroll advisor at the Futurelink Group in Kings Langley, and though she is now too ill to go in, she says the company has been very supportive of her situation.
She said: “My manager Jainita Patel, who also lives in Aylesbury, checks in regularly and reassures me that everyone is rooting for me. They have raised over £100 already!”
An all-day music event on Saturday, April 4 at The Aristocrat in Wendover Road, Aylesbury is the latest fundraiser organised to help Miss Charles.
She said: “It’s going to be really good, and I’m going to try and get down there for a bit on the day.
“Bass Invaderz will be performing, supported by local DJs who are well established in the drum and bass circuit.
“We have also secured world-famous DJ Nicky Blackmarket and MC Skiba, so people are going to love it.
“I want to thank all the people who have donated so far. It means the world to me.
“Just Baguettes and Costa Coffee in Princes Risborough have kindly set up a collection in store for my operation, and Aylesbury Flooring kindly donated £250.