Horrific kidney stones leave student, 21, bedridden and weighing just 5.5 stone

A young woman with a crippling kidney condition is so poorly that she has to spend 21 hours a day asleep.

Emma Tuck, 21, weighed just 5.5 stones at one point and can only consume 600 calories a day.

She desperately needs the money to afford specialist treatment after the kidney stones left her with a "paralysed" stomach, Yorkshire Live reports.

Just three years ago Emma, from Doncaster, was living a normal life and studying for a degree in criminology.

But after developing bilateral kidney stones – which means a kidney stone on each side – Emma, has been left unable to eat, as the aggressive treatment left her stomach "paralysed".

She now spends most days confined to her bed, with only enough energy to stay awake for around three hours each day.

"Three years ago she started with kidney stones so I took her to A&E and they said it must be a urine infection as she was too young for kidney stones, but eventually they did a CT scan and found it was bilateral kidney stones which is one on each side," Emma's worried mum Helen said.

"She passed one stone but the second got stuck in her kidney and she got inflammation of the kidneys, so they gave her a large amount of antibiotics and lots of pain killers and, in the end, they took her to emergency theatre to put a stent in, which opens up the drainage from the kidney and they got the stone out.

"She had this stent in for a couple of weeks, she was only 18 then, but has been unwell ever since.

"It was just after Christmas that she had the stent removed and then she started vomiting, she just couldn't keep any food down, nothing was passing through her stomach and over the last three years it's just gotten worse and worse."

Doctors think that, due to the large amount of antibiotics that were used to treat Emma when she had kidney stones, the medicine killed off all of Emma's health gut bacteria, effectively leaving her stomach paralysed.

And Helen said that Emma's weight has been dropping for years, due to her not being able to keep any food down, but in May last year her weight plummeted to its lowest yet and Emma weighed just 35kg.

"I'm a retired nurse so I was taking her blood and getting her results but then her potassium dropped to a dangerously low level so she was admitted into Leeds hospital and was fed through a gastric tube", Helen said.

Despite this, Emma was still vomiting everything back up and her body was unable to gain any nutrition, so she was put on a different type of feeding tube which seemed to work and Emma's health picked up.

But this method of administering nutrition could only be done in a hospital setting and Emma, whose last stay in hospital was a staggering 14 weeks, was keen to go home, so she had a trial without the feeding tube – which sent her health spiralling again.

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Helen said: "After a couple of weeks her weight just dropped completely, so they put another one back in before Christmas…I realised that every lockdown we've had she's been in hospital."

Helen said that it has been especially hard for both of them, as coronavirus rules have meant that, during each of Emma's hospital stays, she has not been allowed any visitors.

"I was getting really upset because she was really ill and all she wanted was her mum and they wouldn't let me," Helen said.

Eventually, the hospital allowed Helen to be Emma's only visitor, so she was able to go and see her daughter during those lengthy hospital stays but Emma even had to have her 21st birthday on the ward, instead of at home with her family.

Helen said: "Prior to this she was fit and well. I used to run a girls football team for Doncaster Rovers girls and she played football for me and was the fastest girl in the team, but now she can't even walk from the bedroom to the conservatory without someone helping her.”

The family are now desperately trying to fund a specialist procedure after a gastroenterologist suggested that fitting a gastric pacemaker – which encourages the stomach to contract on its own – would help Emma.

But this procedure is not available on the NHS and Helen said that it will cost £30,000 to have one fitted privately, so they've set up a GoFundMe to help them raise the money.

If you would like to donate to Emma's fundraiser, you can do so here.

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