A woman who wears a colostomy bag after she nearly died from an incurable bowel condition has become a world champion BODYBUILDER.
Zoey Wright had her large intestine removed three years ago – but that didn’t stop her being crowned number one at the Pure Elite World Championship.
It marked an unlikely milestone for the 25-year-old, who decided to become a competitive bodybuilder while confined to a hospital bed.
She suffered severe cramps, chronic fatigue and recurring diarrhoea because of ulcerative colitis and was hospitalised for four weeks while studying at university.
Zoey says she endured symptoms for several years, describing her younger self as a “typical teenage girl” who ignored warning signs.
And after undergoing a huge operation, the fitness instructor has now competed in three bodybuilding competitions as she predicted at her lowest ebb.
She said: “ For a long time, I ignored painful stomach cramps and the fact that I was losing weight.
“Doctors sent me for tests while I was studying at university and I spent a very traumatic month in hospital.
“But I am stubborn and determined. I was lying in my hospital bed when I decided I was going to get on stage and compete as a bodybuilder.
“I wanted to do something I’d never done before and something that seemed impossible to achieve.
“Now I am in love with training and competing – and the world title is a celebration of being healthy. I have achieved the impossible.”
Zoey, from Falmouth, Cornwall, took first prize in the ‘overall’ category at the championships in Margate, Kent on October 28 – finishing one place better than she did at the event in 2016.
She focuses on intensive hour-and-a-half session six times a week while preparing for the contest and, despite experiencing some of the symptoms, feels healthier than ever.
Doctors previously told Zoey that her body was shutting down as her white blood cells attacked the healthy lining of her bowel wall, making it ulcerated.
In 2012, her weight plummeted from 10st to 8st and she trialled various drugs in an attempt to treat the condition.
Two years later, Zoey decided to have ileostomy surgery and use a colostomy bag.
She added: “Exercise is a daily routine like brushing your teeth in the morning.
“When I’m preparing for a show I will do cardio before breakfast and then lift weights in the evening
“I don’t spend hours in the gym per session because I don’t want to get bored of doing something I love.”