Solicitor, Attracta O'Regan, her husband Ultan, and the Gastronenterology team with the support of Beaumont Hospital Foundation, have launched the, 'Let's Get to the Bottom of it Appeal' - to fund the salary of a research fellow into Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at Beaumont Hospital.
This dedicated physician will provide exclusive, on-going patient care supports - a service that is not currently available in Ireland - and will radically change the isolation and untreated side effects for people with inflammatory bowel disease. The new appointment will commence in July 2021.
It is hoped that, with public support, it will be possible to fundraise for this post for three years (and beyond if possible) to develop qualitative research aimed at improving quality of life for people with incurable, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Diseases. We are calling on all patients of the IBD service to get involved and to support the funding of this role, either by making a donation or organising a fundraising event.
In January 2016, Attracta was enjoying family life with her husband and four children and leading a successful and challenging career as a busy solicitor.
A month later, she was admitted to hospital with constant diarrhoea and bleeding, severe abdominal pain, weight loss, exhaustion, heart palpitations and vomiting. She believed her ill health was caused by an infection caught during an overseas work trip but after two weeks of invasive tests, she was diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease, called Ulcerative Colitis, which occurs when the lining of the large intestine (colon) or rectum, or both, becomes inflamed producing tiny sores or ulcers on the lining of the colon.
Describing herself at that time she says, “I was in a mess. I was in pain, running to the toilet every few minutes. The steroids I was on caused insomnia and the loss of vital body minerals was affecting my heart and other organs. Every joint in my body was in pain and swollen from fingers to toes. My jaw kept locking when I tried to eat or speak and I found it difficult to walk. As a result, I was confused and irrational. My speech was slurred which was embarrassing and upsetting and I was truly terrified as my livelihood depends on my mental acuity”.
“It took two years of going down many treatment routes including steroids, immunosuppressive and biologic medications, dealing with adverse complications including steroid dependency disease, abnormal cervical cells, IBD related arthropathy to get my ulcerative colitis under control and I am now in remission. This is due to the expertise, care and patience of Dr. Aoibhlinn O’Toole and Clinical Nurse Specialist, Mary Forry, who guided, supported, and brought me successfully through this very complicated personal journey. I am now living a healthy, normal and rewarding life once again.”
For more information call 01 - 809 2927.