Victoria Danson thought she was just under a lot of stress. Her life took an unimaginable turn when she received news that she had a mere 24 hours left to live, all due to a menacing abscess that triggered a life-threatening infection.
At 33 years old, this devoted mother from the UK, who had been experiencing fatigue and excruciating abdominal pain, brushed off her symptoms as typical stress-related issues. Little did she know that her journey would lead her to a diagnosis of irritable bowel disease and later, Crohn’s disease, which resulted in a dangerous abscess in her abdomen, unleashing a deadly sepsis.
In the face of this harrowing situation, Victoria was given a daunting ultimatum of just one day to live, as the infection relentlessly ravaged her body. Urgent surgery was required to remove the abscess, which she vividly recalls was precariously positioned near her ovaries.
“I didn’t even have time to really take in what was going on,” Danson shared with NeedToKnow.co.uk. “All I knew was that I was in agony and would do anything to get rid of the pain.”
With a desperate bid for survival, doctors performed a surgical procedure, removing 18 inches of Victoria’s bowel and necessitating the use of an ileostomy bag, a life-altering consequence she initially resisted. However, she soon realized that this was her only chance at survival.
The aftermath of her 2014 surgery shattered her carefree lifestyle, leaving her grappling with a sense of being different. “Initially, I didn’t think I could carry on living, and I couldn’t see how I was going to be able to continue with my active lifestyle,” she candidly admitted.
Adapting to her condition, which has now recurred in her small bowel, Victoria has undergone a dietary transformation and anticipates further surgical interventions. Her perseverance and determination have allowed her to make necessary adjustments, including avoiding high-fiber foods, drinking green tea, taking supplements, and eliminating caffeine, leading to the alleviation of her symptoms.
“I’ve had to do a lot of inner work to accept my condition,” shared Victoria, who cherishes her role as a devoted mother to her 7-year-old son. Inspired by her own experience, she decided to create a support group called “Crohn’s and Colitis Support Lancashire,” providing invaluable assistance to hundreds of individuals facing similar challenges.
While her carefree life may have been disrupted, Victoria remains steadfast in her commitment to educate others about Crohn’s disease, using her firsthand encounter with sepsis to raise awareness. Through workshops conducted at universities, she sheds light on her “invisible illness,” all while effectively managing her own condition without medication.
“I feel like I’ve had to rebuild my whole life around my bag – so I want to be able to empower and inspire body confidence,” expressed Victoria, whose personal sanctuary has become the gym. Recognizing the need for emotional support, she took the initiative to establish her support group, offering solace and understanding to those in similar circumstances.
Victoria Danson’s remarkable journey serves as a testament to the power of the human spirit. Through resilience and an unwavering mindset, she continues to defy the odds, proving that no matter the challenges we face, we can still achieve our goals. However, she emphasizes the importance of seeking medical advice when uncertain, as it could ultimately save lives.
Victoria’s extraordinary tale exemplifies the strength within us all, showcasing the indomitable will to overcome adversity and emerge triumphant on the other side. Her story is a source of inspiration for those navigating their own battles, demonstrating that even in the face of death, there is hope for life.