A 21-year-old woman suffering from Crohn's disease has shared the story of her health battle after her stomach exploded.
Chloe Meade, from Caldicot, South Wales, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease as a child, Mirror.co.uk reports.
One day in January, Meade began experiencing agonizing stomach pains and immediately went to the doctors.
Doctors told her that the pain was caused by an abscess on her bowel that was life threatening. They told her that she needed an immediate operation to ensure that she survives.
“When I woke up and saw the 20cm scar running down my stomach, I felt relieved that my ordeal was over,” Meade told Mirror.co.uk. “I thought after the operation the worst was over.”
During her recovery, Meade's nearly 8-inch scar on her stomach became infected. Eventually, the incision completely burst open.
“It was like something out of a horror film — my scar opened up completely,” she said. “I could see straight through my scar into my stomach, and it needed months of packing with bandages before it started to heal.”
Meade had to have a drain fitted into her stomach and was fed through a tube for three weeks.
Warning: Graphic images below; viewer discretion is advised.
Doctors believe that Meade had a an allergic reaction to the medication she was taking, causing her stomach to swell with water. Eventually it caused the scar to "explode."
Chloe was in the hospital for a total of three months before she was able to go home.
"It was such a relief when the wound started to heal and I overcame the infection," she said.
The scar has been healing, with only a small opening left to close before she is considered to be fully recovered.
After the ordeal, Meade remains positive and says that the only thing she can do is "laugh about it all" and try to raise awareness for Crohn's disease.
"I used to be really embarrassed of my Crohn's but now I want to do as much as possible to raise awareness," she said. "I decided to share my scar as part of the Get Your Belly Out campaign and I've had such a fantastic response on social media."