Original article from Kent Live
A former matron from Paddock Wood with an agonising condition which has stopped her bowel movements for the past seven months hopes she can stay alive long enough to try specialist treatment in India.
Jacqui Hayward Gant, 56, has incurable idiopathic gastroparesis, which means her stomach nerves are paralysed and she can now only have special ice lollies.
She endures vomiting her own "poo, blood and bile" as her body can not get rid of waste in the usual way and has lost more than 3st since January.
Mum-of-one Jacqui of Warrington Road was a registered nurse, in general and psychiatry, and then matron, from 1984 until five years ago.
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She said: "If I can get to the Ayurvedic hospital in Kerala, it would get me medication that may help me live longer. I am so desperate now to get treatment and then, if I survive, to a research facility in Israel.
"I want to live longer, to see my daughter get married, to be with my mother and not die before my mother. I would love one day to see a grandchild in the future. I would love to be here next year."
Since May 2018, she has been fed via a tube in her nose but her body can only tolerate 240 calories every 24 hours. It has left her mainly bedbound and living on morphine and diazepam along with up to 35 medications a day through her tube.
Jacqui shielded at home for 15 months during the pandemic – where she is cared for by husband John – but on July 6 she was admitted to King's College Hospital.
She was in intensive care on a ventilator and is now on a step-down ward, with her only daily "highlight" being a fruit lolly at 5pm.
She said she has tried all the available treatments in Britain.
Jacqui believes her only hope at improving is an alternative natural treatment which has been used in India for more than 3,000 years.
She wants to go to the Ahalia Ayurvedic Hospital in Thrissur, Kerala next October, where teams practice one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems, and where part of the treatment is massages to stimulate the nerves in a bid to get back some contraction of the muscles to the stomach and bowel.
She has so far raised £2,869 of her £7,000 target.
She told the Courier she remains at King's and is receiving medication via her nose tube until her bowels are cleared and is currently not allowed visitors.
Jacqui became a nurse just before her 19th birthday and despite being diagnosed with Crohn’s and proctitis at the age of 17, she managed to qualify.
She had been working as a registered matron for 15 years until her life was turned upside down more than seven years ago.
She was diagnosed with the idiopathic gastroparesis but she has since suffered a long list of serious health problems, such as deep vein thrombosis, two pulmonary embolisms, diabetes brought on by the effects of her conditions and the paralysis spreading to her bladder meaning she has to use a catheter.
If you want to help Jacqui get to Kerala, you can click on her GoFundMe page here.