A woman suffering from a debilitating illness was diagnosed by a stranger on Facebook.
Annie Marshall, 20, started showing symptoms in March 2020 after food poisoning left her in pain every time she ate.
She was diagnosed with gastroparesis in March 2021, however, none of the treatments alleviated her symptoms, and it wasn’t until she vented her frustrations on a Facebook group for gastroparesis sufferers that a woman reached out to her and suggested she look into another. condition. .
Annie, of Epping Forest, Essex, explained: “A stomach should empty in half an hour, but for me, after four hours, zero percent was empty.
“I didn’t know what to do and was feeling really down – I had pretty much given up and vented to a gastroparesis Facebook group about everything that had happened.
“I got a message from a woman in America who said that she had been a nurse for twenty years and that I should look into MALS (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome).
“She herself had and worked with MALS surgeons – so it was like luck.”
After doing some research, she realized how similar the symptoms were to hers and was able to find a doctor in London who could treat the condition.
After an ultrasound, she finally got the diagnosis she was looking for – she had Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome.
Now, Annie is waiting to be seen by a world-leading MALS specialist in Connecticut and hopes to finally undergo life-changing surgery this year.
Opening up about her official diagnosis of MALS, Annie shared: “I had an ultrasound with a doctor in London that came back positive for MALS and then I had another diagnostic test where they inject a steroid into a bundle of nerves after some tests. ”
She continued, “I contacted the best MALS surgeon in the world who lives in Connecticut and had to submit all my scans – I was put on the waiting list for surgery which I hope will take place in July.”
MALS occurs when the arch-shaped band of tissue in our breasts presses against the artery that supplies blood to organs in our upper abdomen, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Symptoms include stomach pain, bloating, and vomiting, and long-term MALS can lead to fear of eating because of the pain, which in turn causes severe weight loss.