Mother Nearly Loses Life After Intense Stomach Pain Leads to Rapid Three-Stone Weight Loss

 Mother Nearly Loses Life After Intense Stomach Pain Leads to Rapid Three-Stone Weight Loss

( Image: Joanna Hodgkiss/SWNS)

Joanna Hodgkiss, a 44-year-old NHS manager from Birmingham, faced a life-threatening medical ordeal after she unexpectedly developed gallstones, leading to a series of grave complications. Despite maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which included walking 10,000 steps daily and eating a balanced diet without excess fatty foods or alcohol, Joanna was thrust into a health crisis with no prior warning signs.

Her ordeal began with an intense stomach ache, initially suspected by doctors to be an ectopic pregnancy. However, further tests revealed the presence of gallstones, marking the start of her harrowing journey through illness. The situation escalated rapidly as the gallstones caused a blockage in her bile duct, leading to severe consequences including sepsis and two instances of deep vein thrombosis, a condition where blood clots form in the veins, posing potentially fatal risks.

The severity of her condition necessitated the use of a feeding tube, through which 1,000 extra calories were administered into her stomach overnight to combat her drastic weight loss. Over the course of just two months, Joanna’s weight plummeted from 10 stones 1 pound to 7 stones 5 pounds, a stark indication of the impact her condition had on her physical state, told The Mirror.

Additionally, Joanna experienced what is known as Intensive Care Unit (ICU) psychosis, a severe mental disorder triggered by her stay in the ICU. This disorder manifested in paranoia and hallucinations, to the extent that she believed she was being kidnapped by the medical staff treating her. The psychological effects of ICU psychosis are profound, as patients can see hallucinations and suffer from delusions, complicating their recovery process and emotional well-being.

Throughout her four-week stay in the ICU, Joanna underwent multiple operations to address the complications arising from the gallstones. The medical team at Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham worked tirelessly to stabilize her condition, but the road to recovery was fraught with challenges. Her physical and mental health suffered significantly, and the ordeal was not only a personal struggle but also a source of distress for her family.

Her eight-year-old daughter and husband Olly, aged 54, witnessed the drastic transformation in Joanna’s health. At one point, her daughter became fearful of being around her due to Joanna’s emaciated appearance and frequent vomiting. The situation reached a critical point during a concert on July 1, 2023, where Joanna, experiencing severe stomach pains, urgently informed her husband that something was seriously wrong. This prompted an immediate ambulance ride from the event to the hospital, where her diagnosis was confirmed.

Joanna’s experience highlights the unpredictable nature of health issues and the importance of immediate medical attention when unusual pain occurs. Now, still with a drain inserted and awaiting a blood draw operation, Joanna is yet to return to work, facing significant financial strains due to her medical expenses and loss of income.

This distressing experience has motivated Joanna to advocate for awareness and prompt action for those experiencing unexplained pain, underlining the necessity of health vigilance even for those who lead a seemingly healthy lifestyle. Her ordeal serves as a poignant reminder of how quickly health can deteriorate and the profound impact it can have on both the individual and their loved ones.

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