A young woman whose rare condition meant she vomited 30 times a day is finally on the road to recovery after a life-changing operation – and she celebrated by tucking into a roast dinner.
For the past two years, 26-year-old Hannah Leffler, from Little Sutton, had been feeding almost wholly through a tube for two years due to her gastroparesis.
But now has a pacemaker inside her stomach and said a roast dinner she had shortly after it was installed was 'the best thing ever I’ve ever eaten'.
Although Hannah is still only able to eat small amounts, managing just a quarter of a portion of roast chicken, sweet potato, broccoli and gravy.
And she is not supposed to eat red meat yet – so she may have to wait up to a year before she can satisfy her craving for a steak.
She told our sister paper The Liverpool Echo: “I’m quite positive, as I’ve had my tube out finally. I’m eating bits now, and it’s like eating for the first time again - it’s amazing.
“I’m not running to be sick every 10 minutes. I’ve only vomited about five times since the operation three weeks ago.
“I eat baby portions - I managed about a quarter of a piece of toast for breakfast today.
“They told me I would have the feeding tube attached to my face for another couple of months, but I was doing so well I had it off after a week.
“I can feel the pacemaker and you can see it under my skin by my belly button. It gives you a sharp jolt or stitch when you’re eating, but it’s worth it.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who helped make it happen - I think the pressure helped to show I wasn’t going to back down.”
But she said she had been warned she may still have a long way to go before her stomach gets better.
She added: “Sometimes when it’s brand new it gives you a false reading of how it’s working - your body can start to rebel against it, and it’s probably going to take 12 to 18 months to reach its full potential.”
The Liverpool John Moores University graduate previously explained how her condition had turned her into a “shadow” of her former self.
She said before the operation: “I’m like a shadow of who I used to be. I just want my life back.
“I used to swim and be a runner, but I can’t because I’m physically so exhausted. Now I spend 20 hours a day hooked to a feeding pump, too exhausted to do anything.”