Katie Smith’s road to health recovery
IBD | Ulcerated Colitis | Crohn’s Disease.
Katie Smith who hails from Omarama New Zealand had not long returned to the states in February 2015 when she was admitted to seven days in hospital following severe health deficiencies. Shortly after being discharged Katie’s bowel perforated that resulted in being ‘life flown’ to have her large intestine removed and first major surgery at 34years old. An ileostomy was installed on her abdomen that was utilised for five months (and is still currently). Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), with features of Ulcerated Colitis and Crohn’s Disease was diagnosed and the start of her journey back to full health commenced.
(2nd / 8 surgeries)
Late June 2015 was Katie’s second major surgery that was the first stage of the reversal process. An Ileo-anal pouch ( J pouch) was installed as a reservoir for her next major surgery to come . This procedure was successfully completed in Phoenix following a week in hospital for recovery. On going care from Katie’s Home Care Nurse – Linda Pineda, has to date been profound.
(3rd / 8 Surgeries)
Katie’s third major surgery in August was reversal of the ileostomy with another week in Banner Desert Hospital – Mesa, Phoenix. This procedure was a new mission for Katie as her body was adapting to bowel movements for the first time in months. Strict dietary amendments were made to compensate for any further irritations and discomforts. Not to mention a vast amount of pain due to stomach incisions.
(4th ,5th / 8 surgeries)
September / October – All seemed to be going well until complications of multiple cysts and a fistula appeared raising concern for Katie’s home care Nurse and Surgeon. Outpatient surgeries were prompted and actioned to block the fistula tracks. A plug was installed in an outpatient surgery which didn’t succeed as anticipated.
(6th,7th / 8 surgeries)
Weeks’ following the fifth procedure Katie travelled back to Phoenix for surgery seven as Plan B to stop the fistula track. This surgery was more severe than initially predicted due to a large amount of scar tissue. Katie was admitted to three days in hospital for her body to recover from the severity. While admitted this procedure had failed causing Katie to unfortunately have her 7th surgery scheduled straight away to reinstall the ileostomy and for healing of the fistula wound to occur. A total of seven days in hospital took a toll on Katie’s body losing 6kg (13pounds) in a week with two large incisions for her body to battle. Katie’s pain tolerance was at its peak as she battled like a trooper.
As Katie’s body has undergone major stress battling high levels of pain and discomfort, her body has lost a vast amount of mass, strength and muscle. Despite major set backs Katie’s physical and mental endurance is one to be admired. Travel for pre surgery and post surgery appointments took a toll with a 5 hour drive time between Page and Phoenix.
Reversal of the ileostomy was planned for August 2016 allowing for Katie’s wound to further heal as well as fistulas. Continued inflammation and complications has prompted advice from other related surgeons with a final decision to leave the ostomy on for life. Although it wasn’t the intended outcome Katie has taken everything in her stride, never short of a beaming smile.
Katie’s 8th and final surgery was completed in November 2016 with cosmetic surgery to the stomach.
We have great admiration for Katie’s tenacity and curveballs of physical and mental endurance. Together the ENDURE Row raised NZ$15k towards Katie’s health recovery
Katie Smith ENDURE