Guest Blog – My IBD Journey – Gem Will, #GYBO Founder

BullensBlog, Bullen Healthcare

I’ve had inflammatory bowel disease since 2005, back then the internet wasn’t as rife and little was known about the conditions.

It had been a roller coaster of a ride over those 13 years, highs and lows that come with living with a chronic condition.

Back in 2014 I was on the internet and I got talking to others and that was how #GetYourBellyOut was formed. #GetYourBellyOut is a community interest company. Money raised gets ploughed back into the community. Next year we are celebrating our fifth birthday and hosting the annual party. You can find more information at

In 2016 I was very poorly. I was admitted to hospital and the days that passed came in a blur. I was losing so much blood from the bowel and losing control of it. I was as weak as a kitten and also was recovering from micro fracture surgery on my knee. I tried various treatments like IV steroids and vedolizamab but they failed me, surgery was the only thing for me. My bowel was so inflamed a scope couldn’t get through. I was so poorly and weak having major surgery would be a test on my body.

I had surgery. All my colon was removed and I had a stoma formed. I was in intensive care for a bit and then on the ward. Here I deteriorated and needed blood transfusions. I had severe bile sickness and my stoma output was very high. Sadly I took a turn for the worse and slipped into a coma, reaching a GCS of 3. I was critically ill and could have gone either way. My family was called at night and I was taken back to intensive care. I was so poorly before surgery I didn’t have the fight to overcome such big surgery, but I’m pleased to say I fought and lived to tell the tale!

I have had my stoma almost two and a half years and we get on just fine. It’s been called many a name trust me when it’s had its moments but nine times out of ten it’s well behaved, and it has given me my life back, For this I’m forever grateful. Without my stoma and the #GetYourBellyOut strong community with great support I certainly wouldn’t be here today.