Mother has the world's most difficult operation with seven organ transplants


Michelle Oddy expects surgery to give her life back (Photo: Ferrari Press Agency)

A desperate mother has been told she faces a 40 percent chance of dying when she has a rare seven-organ transplant to save lives.

Michelle Oddy, 43, who suffers from Crohn's disease, will undergo a 20-hour surgery to replace the intestine, colon, large and small intestine, liver, pancreas and half of the stomach.

But Michelle, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire, said she is prepared to take the risk because her body has had enough of monthly hospital drainage visits.

Michelle, who has a daughter, Keira, 14, said: "It looks morbid, but it's only a matter of time before I die."

She added: "There is a strong chance I will not wake up from the transplant." It looks really scary and people ask why I'm doing it, but I have no life at all.

Michelle says she is tired of exhaustive visits to the hospital and worries about their effect on her family (Photo: Michelle Oddy / Ferrari Press Agency

It is considered the most difficult and challenging transplant operation in the world and only one hospital in the UK has the experience to perform it.

Only four of this type of surgery are performed each year and there will be three changes in the team during Michelle's operation.

The mother said she worries about the effect of her bad health on her family after nearly dying twice.

Despite being engaged for years with her now wife Laura, the two never had money for a ceremony.

But after she was revived for the last time in the hospital, the pair decided to marry five weeks late.

She said, "I'm sick and tired of it now. Every month I end up in the hospital with sepsis and it's getting worse every time.

"He took care of my life.

"It's my family that I'm sorry for. For my wife, it will be 20 hours walking in the corridors without knowing if I'm going to wake up.

Michelle and Laura on wedding day (Photo: Michelle Oddy / Ferrari Press Agency)

Michelle said her health has deteriorated severely since she was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 14 and now can only consume fluids.

She sees the operation as her only chance for recovery and is now at the top of the organ donation list, carrying a bell with her all the time that will alert her as soon as the donor becomes available.

All organs will come from the same person and expect the surgery to be completed next month.

She will then face a 10-month recovery at the hospital and another 14 months at home.

Michelle said that she gets her positive attitude and strength from her family, which she says is "fantastic" in supporting her.

She said, "The two-year recovery looks awful, but that's how bad my health is … Some mornings I can not stand up because of the pain.

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"Making the choice to have a surgery was difficult, but I'm desperate."

She said that Laura will be with her all the time in hospital accommodation provided to relatives.

'She hates seeing me in pain and she saw me getting sicker and sicker, but she's petrified.

"The surgery will change everything."

The mother now plans to return to her hairdressing career in two years after recovering.


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