Carlton woman has city landmarks illuminated in recognition of lifesaving nutritional treatments that saved her life

Two iconic buildings in Nottingham city center will be lit up on Monday evening (August 1) as part of a Carlton woman’s campaign to raise awareness of the artificial nutrition that saved her life.

Natalie Maltby has appealed to Nottingham City Council to light up the buildings to mark the start of Home Artificial Nutrition (HAN) Awareness Week which takes place the first week of August.

Natalie, who is currently undergoing treatment at Queens Medical Center, began her journey with artificial nutrition in 2007 when, at the age of 25, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC).

Natalie said: “I had just given birth to my second child, which means I had two children under the age of two. I assumed I would be able to take a few pills and be fine, but within 18 months my UC had gotten so bad that I was hospitalized. While in the hospital, my large intestine ruptured and I had emergency surgery to remove it, which saved my life.

For five years, Natalie faced repeated hospitalizations, including stoma reversal surgery in 2012 that led to a 10-month stay in hospital. In 2014, Natalie started total parenteral nutrition (TPN) via a Hickman line – a narrow tube inserted into a vein in her chest.

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“Once I was stabilized and able to eat, I was transferred from NPWT to IV fluids and discharged, having two liters of fluids per night, seven nights a week. Unfortunately, over the years, my health deteriorated further and I had to give up my job as a human resources manager. It was a struggle to cope with two young children and the challenges my illness presented.

“At the end of 2019, I started to feel really bad. I couldn’t eat without being in absolute agony and I was constantly tired. Some days I slept 22 hours! When the world closed with Covid in 2020 I didn’t even notice as I was spending all day everyday in bed In 2020 I also had my first bowel obstruction and after narrowly avoiding surgery I I started NPWT again Over the past two years I have had several bowel obstructions and been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease Last year my consultant advised me to stop eating as it was causing me so much pain and worsening obstructions, so TPN has now become a permanent fixture in my life.

NPWT is a feeding method that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. A special formula administered intravenously provides most of the nutrients the body needs.

Natalie continued, “I know some people are hesitant to go on NPWT, but for me it has been a relief to finally have good nutrition in my body, which has made me healthier and stronger. Unfortunately, it’s hard to prepare for the emotional side effects of TPN and not eating. I soon realized that almost all social events involve food and drink – parties, birthdays, moms night – the list is endless. I’ve found that I do a lot of cooking at home because it allows me to taste food without eating it. I still sit at the table at dinner time because it’s one of the few times we’re all together as a family and it’s a chance for me to talk with my now teenage children.

“One thing I really missed doing as a result of having a Hickman line was swimming. But I recently discovered a waterproof bandage, when I go on holiday to Cornwall later this month I will be able to go swimming with my children for the first time in eight years.

Natalie discovered that by writing her blog, More than just a bag lady, changed her view of the challenges of living with IBD and being on NPWT. “I still have days when I’m so bad I can’t get out of bed, but on good days I’m determined to live life to the fullest and say yes to every opportunity that comes my way!

“While artificial nutrition is only needed for a small group of patients, it saves lives, and I hope this enlightenment in Nottingham will raise awareness of that, along with the incredible support provided by PINNT.”

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PINNT is a national, independent charity that provides mutual support and advocacy for adults and children and their families adjusting to life on home artificial nutrition (HAN). It is estimated that around 50,000 people in the UK rely on enteral nutrition at home, while around 2,750 rely on parenteral nutrition (where nutrients are delivered directly into the bloodstream) at home.

PINNT President Carolyn Wheatley said: “HAN includes parenteral, enteral and oral nutritional supplements and each year HAN Week is dedicated to raising awareness of these vital and life-changing home treatments that provide nutrition. and hydration for those unable to eat. and drink normally.

“The conditions Natalie lives with – ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease – are fairly well known, but living with NPWT is less so, and this enlightenment is an opportunity to get people talking about its importance. Natalie’s story and her drive to raise awareness in Nottingham is truly inspiring and I hope it will inspire others to share their stories.

To learn more and get involved in HAN Week 2022, visit pinnt.com or follow us on Twitter @PINNTCharity.

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