By Alyce Collins
THIS BRIT model who was told by medics she will NEVER eat again faces being fed for TWENTY-TWO hours a day through a TUBE for the rest of her life.
Blogger and model, Chloe Marsden (20) from Leicester, UK, is making the most out of life after having a feeding tube fitted in her stomach, having to live the rest of her life being peg fed.
Aged 19, Chloe was diagnosed with cyclical vomiting syndrome (CVS) and atrial septal defect (ASD), meaning she has a hole in her heart.
Chloe isn’t able to take any food in orally, so everything from food, water and medication is all taken through her feeding tube. Chloe is fed special medical food including all the vitamins and fibre she requires to maintain sufficient levels.
CVS is a chronic condition which has no known cure as of yet. Minor cases can be treated through maintaining a balanced diet or changing lifestyle habits, however the severity of Chloe’s diagnosis meant that having a feeding tube was her only option.
After struggling with her feeding tube for so long, Chloe is now a model for a disabled modelling company, learning to embrace the condition that she says has made her who she is today.
“In December 2017 I was fitted with my peg and feeding tube,” said Chloe.
“It works by passing the stomach and going directly into the small intestine, which is why I have a ‘J’ on my peg which stands for ‘Jejunum extension’.
“I’m fed for twenty-two hours a day, which limits the number of things I can do.
“I used to miss the sensation of eating and tasting my food, but now I’m used to it – you can’t miss what you don’t have.
“It was really hard at first because you’re not used to anything being there in your stomach, so I had to get used to people looking at my tube.
“Now having my peg, it doesn’t bother me because it’s part of me and I’m proud to be a tubie. At times I still struggle with wearing certain tops which show the tube, but why should I hide it? That’s what I have to keep telling myself.”
Chloe has faced a difficult time learning to deal with her new way of life over the past few months, with friends not accepting her and pushing her away.
“I have lost many friends due to my health conditions and being tube fed, but I live life to the fullest and still do what I love to do.
“I’ve had plenty of negative and nasty comments, but I change the negatives to positives and stay strong as best I can.
“People have called me a pig, stared or said they’ve never seen anyone so stupid before.
“The most difficult part was losing friends and forever being limited on what I can do, but I wouldn’t change it because it’s made me the person I am today.”
The previous eight months have been a struggle for Chloe to come to terms with having a tube fitted, but she is now much stronger and wishes to be a positive influence for others who may also be going through a similar journey.
As she requires being fed for 22 hours every day, Chloe takes her supplies in a backpack with her everywhere she goes, which limits most of her activities but she has become used to it and doesn’t feel the sensation of being fed.
Chloe regularly posts inspiring and honest photos of herself and shows off her feeding tube on her Instagram, to encourage others not to hide theirs or feel ashamed of it.
“Stay strong and stay positive – it will be okay,” added Chloe.
“It isn’t easy but it’s worth it so take each day as it comes. Just be proud and show your tube off because it’s part of you after all.”
You can find out more about Chloe’s incredible journey by visiting her Instagram page, @chloeemarsden
For more information see www.mediadrumworld.com