A woman who feared she wouldn’t make it past Christmas is looking forward to her future following life-changing surgery.

Anne-Marie Fraser, 44, from Harrow Weald, suffered from gastric outlet obstruction – a condition which meant her food could not exit her stomach and enter her bowel.

Before undergoing surgery, she was confined to a wheelchair, weighed less than five stone and would spend days “curled up in a ball begging to die”.

But thanks to specialist work at Harrow’s St Mark’s Hospital, she is now on the mend and is looking forward to a “normal” Christmas at her brother’s.

“This Christmas I get to see my family and not the bottom of a bucket,” she said.

“My brother has five children and Christmas is going to be chaotic, loud and amazing.

“I am looking forward to a normal Christmas where I can eat and drink properly for the first time in ten years.”

Anne-Marie admitted that she had consigned herself to a life of misery and that she and her partner, Paul, were unsure how long she would last.

She said: “The last two years have been a nightmare. I was unable to eat or drink properly and would vomit nearly every day – I was in real trouble. I would spend three days curled up in a ball begging to die – it was hell.

“All I was surviving on was hot sweet tea, soup and morphine. Due to the weight loss and lack of energy I was in a wheelchair, stuck in my house all day.

“The only time I left was for hospital appointments. I was even too unwell to attend my brother’s wedding. It was an exciting day if I made it to the bathroom on my own.”

Alberto Isla and Anne-Marie Fraser

Watford Observer:

Her life changed when she was referred to gastrointestinal surgeon Alberto Isla, who carried out a series of tests and scans.

He found that when Anne-Marie ate, the food would hit her stomach but then have nowhere else to go. This caused it to swell and led to great pain and suffering for many years.

The operation at St Mark’s involved removing the diseased part of the stomach and replumbing it to the healthy bowel. Dr Isla described this as a “fairly simple solution to such a complex problem” and said it was a “great result”.

Anne-Marie expressed her gratitude to all who have helped her through such a difficult time and noted how it still felt strange to be getting better.

“The moment I woke up from surgery, I was in so much less pain. I was absolutely euphoric with the outcome.

“The day after I was literally back on my feet – my partner carried me into the hospital and I walked out,” she said.

“I cannot find a bad thing to say about anyone who I encountered. From the porters who made me smile when I was nervous, to the nurses who showed me incredible kindness and compassion and the doctors, including Dr Max Pitcher, who were so efficient, they have all been incredible.

“It’s still so novel to feel well. The fact is before the surgery I gave up on having a normal life. Now, I have a future.”