A 16-year-old girl who hasn’t eaten in almost a YEAR has been told she may never eat or drink again – after being diagnosed with a condition that paralyses her stomach.
Teen Lily Tock, who suffers from gastroparesis, is now connected to tubes for 18 hours a day to provide her with essential fats, oils and vitamins that otherwise her body cannot absorb.
Her symptoms began when she was 14 and Lily started experiencing dizziness, nausea and severe stomach pains.
it took two years for her to be diagnosed as the rare condition affects just six per cent of the UK population – and her only hope of ever eating properly again is the possibility of being fitted with a gastric pacemaker.
Lily, of Brough, East Yorks., who met Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill while she was in hospital, said: “I’d do anything to eat. It’s like sitting there with something you really want in front of it but you aren’t allowed it.
“It was very hard at Christmas not able to eat when Christmas is all about food and it’s hard going out for meals with friends and family and just seeing all the nice food.”
“I often try to avoid meal times because I just want to eat.
“I miss many foods like pizza, chicken, chocolate, even roast dinners and vegetables. If I did eat it would cause days in bed vomiting, awful pain, nausea and could cause a life-threatening bezoar, which is where the food can’t move and causes a blockage.”
Because of the pain she’s in, Lily takes morphine and Tramadol every day, but these make her drowsy and she relies on a wheelchair.
She explained: “I have to be tube fed through my heart called a Hickman/Broviac line, because my stomach can’t cope with food.
“One of the symptoms of gastroparesis is vomiting and tube feeding means it decreases my chances of being sick.
“There is also a tube going into my small intestine. My body doesn’t absorb vitamins very well so doctors measure my blood and find out what my body needs. I am also fed fats and oils.”
Lily, who sat her GCSEs in hospital after studying with a tutor because she missed so much school, is now waiting to see a surgeon about the possibility of a gastric pacemaker.
Lily’s parents, mum Karen, 50, and dad Paul, 47, also spoke about the stress the condition puts on their family life, with Karen saying: “Trying to look after Lily’s 13-year old-brother Elliot, run a full time business and get to various appointments in Sheffield and Hull is very stressful.
“It’s very upsetting seeing your daughter in so much pain.”
Dad Paul, who works away with the Royal Navy, added: “The diagnosis has been important but has been a long struggle getting there pushing doctors and specialists who don’t really have a huge awareness of gastroparesis.
Gastroparesis is a long-term condition where the stomach can’t empty itself in the normal way. Food passes through the stomach more slowly than usual.