One of the many things we do when faced with something difficult or life changing is to draw strength from others and ask ourselves ‘how do others manage?’.

Having bowel surgery is no different and while everyone has a different story to tell, we can learn from other peoples’ experiences.

A selection of inspirational personal stories from IA’s ostomate or pouch community who have overcome, or are overcoming, bowel surgery and sharing their journey or simply sharing what they enjoy.

Having an ileostomy or internal pouch doesn’t have to hold you back. The only thing that holds you back is your imagination.

Love the Skin You’re In

Paula Holmes Carr went through living with UC, a J-Pouch and back to having her ‘faithful life-saving’ stoma that gave her back her life, her health and love for her own body and a new vigour for life and less pain.

Walking 100 Miles

Chris walks 100 miles across the Scottish Highlands, complete with rucksack, walking boots and stoma, raising awareness and funds for IA.

A Partner’s Perspective

Anita offers a partner’s perspective on coping with partner Pat undergoing ileostomy surgery.

Chronically Motivated

University student Zoey faces illness then ileostomy surgery before being crowned winner in a fitness modelling competition leading on to the World Championships.

The Secrets and Lies of a Closet Ileostomist

How do you start the conversation with your future partner about living with an ileostomy?

Dancing with my Stoma

Don’t let a stoma hold you back from enjoying exercise. Ceri took up pole dancing and after one lesson she was hooked.

Conquering Mountains

Ex-intelligence operator Glen is struck down by cancer and forced to leave the military job he loves. Now, living with an ileostomy, Glen is seeing the world from a different angle… the top of mountains.

The Good, the Bad and the Pouch Surgery

After internal pouch surgery, Mel shares how life is great as a sign language interpreter travelling hundreds of miles a week.

I’m a Nurse with a Stoma

Registered Nurse Harriet is used to caring for people following illness or surgery, suddenly the role is reversed and she is now living with an ileostomy.

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