A mum-of-four with a rare digestive disorder that made her sick 20 times a day says her life was saved – by Cadbury’s Crème Eggs.
Stella Brown, 51, was diagnosed with incurable oesophagus condition achalasia, which affects a sufferer’s ability to swallow.
The debilitating illness caused Stella to vomit whatever food she tried to eat and she suffered constant stomach pain.
She dropped to a dress size four and lost three stone in weight and has battled with the condition for seven years.
The hotel worker says her life was saved by Cadbury’s Crème Eggs which were the only thing she could keep down.
Divorced single-mum Stella, of Leicester, said: “People don’t believe me when I tell them Cadbury’s Crème Eggs saved my life, but it’s true.
“I tried so many things which I could keep down and they were they only food I could eat.
“I realised it by accident one day while trying to eat different foods which didn’t make me sick and it stayed down.
“I ended up going through nine eggs a day, my kids bought me boxes of them and I’d
just go through them one at a time.
“It took a while for me to eat each one and it was hard because I didn’t even like the taste. I liked them as a kid but they’re too sweet.
“I also tried pot noodles too I kept down for a few hours but it would just come up when I was asleep.
“I’d wake up and find peas in my hair which had come out my nose while I was asleep.
“I was so desperate to keep something down that I didn’t care if I liked the taste or not so stuck with crème eggs.”
Stella was struck down with achalasia, which affects around 6,000 people in Britain, in 2012.
She said: “It literally happened overnight because one day I woke up and just couldn’t swallow.
“It got gradually worse and when it didn’t let up after two weeks I went to hospital and they said it was probably acid reflux so gave me Gaviscon.
“I went home and tried it but it didn’t make any difference.
“About three weeks later I found it impossible to keep even water down which was really scary.
“I panicked when everything started coming up and didn’t know what to do.
“The weight was literally dropping off me and it made me really depressed because I just looked gaunt. It was like I was starving to death.”
Stella went back to hospital where she was diagnosed with the condition and she had two operations to widen her oesophagus to help her swallow.
She said: “I was at rock bottom. The doctors told me if my condition didn’t improve I’d die within a year.
“Before the operations I weighed seven stone and was a size four. My breast size went from a 36C to a 32A. I was literally wasting away.
“It was torture because I was so hungry but couldn’t eat anything.
“I would drool over the toast and butter I made for my kids but knew I couldn’t eat it because I’d be throwing up five minutes later.
“There’s no cure to the disorder but the operations helped a tiny bit.
“I can eat bits of pasta and lasagne now but only child’s portions.
“The other strange thing about my condition is that I rarely go to the toilet.
“I probably have a wee once every three days and go for a number two no more than every fortnight.
“Whatever the future holds, I’m grateful for creme eggs because I’m sure that without them I wouldn’t be here.”