A mum who 'didn't want to bother doctors' became unable to walk as a result of a devastating disease which "attacked her from the inside out".
Brave Amy Murphy, from Huyton, Liverpool, said she suffered from terrible cramps, had blood in her urine, bruises on her face and lost clumps of hair earlier this year when she was battling ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative Colitis is inflammation of the lower end of the digestive system, including the large bowel and rectum, and it can require surgery in severe cases.
At one point the 34-year-old said she was unable to walk and had to spend weeks in hospital for treatment.
Speaking to Liverpool Echo, the mum-of-one said: "My body was just attacking itself and causing inflammation."
Amy said she first started noticing symptoms around Easter last year, but faced a long and gruelling journey before she was finally diagnosed in January 2020.
She said: "In Easter time, 2019, I had terrible cramps and I was going to the toilet and I noticed blood, but I didn't go to the doctors.
"It must have been a flare up because after a few days it stopped happening. So then I kind of ignored it.
"But it happened again a few months later and then it stopped again. I didn't go to the doctors, I didn't even tell them.
"I'm not scared of going to the doctors, but I also don't want to bother them."
By Christmas Eve, Amy's pain and symptoms were so severe she had to take herself to hospital.
Amy said she was sent home after being told it was IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and even managed to make a full Christmas meal for the whole family, despite the excruciating pain.
Her symptoms worsened dramatically and by December 29, she said she couldn't walk.
Amy would spend the next four weeks in hospital, before she was finally diagnosed with UC and was given drugs to try and treat the disease.
She said: "Then I began to lose clumps of hair. Peeing blood. Unknown bruising all over face. Blisters on arms and hands. Then the breathing difficulties started."
In April Amy said she was breathless, which prompted fears she had contracted coronavirus during lockdown.
She added: "My breathing got so bad that I was rushed to A&E and I was kept in for five days and was told it was Covid.
"It turned out I was having an adverse reaction to the bowel drugs and immunosuppressants.
"I was incorrectly treated for Covid-19, twice. On my third admission to hospital, I was put in infections diseases ward in the Royal, on a CPAP machine."
Amy now lives with an ileostomy bag that allows her to go to the toilet, her health has now improved and she is not facing painful symptoms as frequently any more.