A YOUNG woman diagnosed with a paralysed stomach after years of being told by doctors she was a fussy eater, has turned to crowdfunding to improve her quality of life.

Holly-May Humphrey, who is 24 and lives in Queensbury, got so sick last year she had to quit her final year of university and now relies on medication 40 times a day to stop her vomiting every time she tries to eat or drink.

She relies on an anti-sickness drug delivered from two large syringe drivers carried in a bag she keeps with her but is hoping with crowdfunding help she will be able to buy a pocket-size version that will make her condition – gastroparesis, which leaves her stomach paralysed and able to eat very little – less visible.

She has set a £1,500 target and with any money left over is hoping to get a private consultation with a specialist in London.

Her problems started at secondary school but GPs brushed it off as an eating disorder.

“They said it was all in my head and that I was just a fussy eater and I’d probably grow out of it but I never did,” she said. “I got so poorly I had to give up university and for the time being forget my dream of working in an operating theatre. I’m working as a part-time funeral organiser now.”

Earlier this year a request by her GP for a gastric pacemaker on the NHS was turned down. The device would have stimulated the nerves in her stomach to make it easier for her to eat. She appealed the decision but was told there would be no U-turn because she was not ‘clinically exceptional’.

“It was heartbreaking to be turned down twice,” she said.

On Wednesday she goes back to hospital to have a feeding tube inserted into her stomach in a bid to vent pressure and make her more comfortable and also to have a feeding tube fitted into her intestines.

An NHS England spokesman said: “These are difficult decisions, which is why they are taken by clinicians and experts on the basis of evidence on which treatments are effective.”

Individual Funding Requests for treatments that are not routinely funded by the NHS are considered on a case-by-case basis. Applications from the patient’s lead clinician need to demonstrate that the circumstances and treatment requested are either exceptional or clinically critically urgent.

To donate, go to youcaring.com/hollymayhumphrey-856540