Family hit twice by disease speak out

Ellie Pugh, 12, and mum Donna, who both have Crohn's disease, with Ellie's sister Bethany, 15
Ellie Pugh, 12, and mum Donna, who both have Crohn's disease, with Ellie's sister Bethany, 15

A mother and daughter both diagnosed with Crohn’s disease have spoken of their experiences for World IBD Day.

Ellie Pugh was just seven years old when doctors found she had the condition.

But it was still a shock for mum Donna when she was also diagnosed three years later.

Mrs Pugh, 35, said: “They always mention the possibility of it being genetic but there was nothing to suggest I had the same thing, so it was a surprise.”

After being ill for a few days and collapsing, Ellie was taken to hospital in 2012 and eventually diagnosed with severe Crohn’s disease.

She has had a feeding tube and different medication to help manage the condition,

As well as affecting her digestive system, her symptoms include joint problems and mouth ulcers.

Mrs Pugh said: “It’s really difficult, it’s heartbreaking, but the things she has achieved and the way she has handled things makes me really proud.

St Mary’s RC High School pupil Ellie has raised £5,000 for charity Crohn’s And Colitis UK, won awards for her fund-raising and shares her experiences on Facebook.

She hopes to become a biomedical scientist to help others with the disease.

Mrs Pugh, who lives in Leigh, had different symptoms, but was diagnosed after months of “constant pain”, a low mood and feeling tired.

She has since had major surgery and continues to receive support from Crohn’s And Colitis UK.

Mrs Pugh, who is married to Anthony and has two other children, hopes to raise awareness of the disease as part of World IBD Day on Friday.

Ellie, now 12, said: “Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease has definitely changed my life and sometimes I find it really difficult to deal with, but I want to make a difference to other people so that keeps me going.

“I think it’s important to raise awareness so people don’t have to go through this alone. I think if we didn’t talk about this or don’t talk about it people will go to really deep places because it’s not a nice disease and at the moment there isn’t a cure. I would say to all the people suffering there is support for you. And I would ask if people know someone who has an illness like Crohn’s to be supportive. ”

To find out more, go to www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk or read Ellie’s story at www.facebook.com/digdeepforellie.