A Solution for Ulcerative Colitis

By: UW Health

What's that? Bucky [phonetic]. A long time ago when I was still sick, I definitely didn't even think about a time when I would have kids or be married. I was diagnosed shortly after I turned 13 with ulcerative colitis. It was excruciatingly painful. You know, I had so much internal bleeding going on, which was painful in itself. I was tired, exhausted. I didn't really know what was wrong. I can remember specific instances of trying to eat a saltine cracker at my grandma's house, and it was just excruciatingly painful within 20 minutes.

It just feels like this is going to last forever. There's no cure, and I'm going to have to deal with this every single day. And when you think of it that way, it feels like eternity. [ Music ] I first met Dr. Harms [phonetic] the summer before my senior year of high school. I had been so many different places, different states and clinics and tried different medications and treatments and nothing was really working.

And I was frustrated. [ Music ] In a nutshell, it's taken out the entire colon, the entire rectum, preserving the sphincter mechanism, so we have control and we use a piece of the small bowel to make a new rectum so that the patient can have a normal life. He was just very encouraging. He didn't see like he thought there was any reason why I couldn't be cured, which is something I had never heard before at that point.

At that point in time in the history of the development of the procedure, we didn't know what the effect on fertility was. I knew that there was definitely a good likelihood that I wouldn't be able to have kids eventually. I think I didn't worry about that as much. [ Music ] I don't have stomachaches every day. I don't have stomachaches, really, ever unless I come down with the flu like everybody else does. I can eat whatever I want, which is huge. My friends that know me and have met me since college or in law school, there's no reason why they would ever know that I had any problems beforehand.

A Solution for Ulcerative Colitis

[ Music ] Sawyer, hi sweetie. It was an incredible and happy surprise. Good job. You know, I met with a couple of doctors right away, and they were all so excited for me that I was able to get pregnant and have a baby that I realized even more so at that point how lucky and how fortunate I was. How cute is that? I was holding the baby, and my husband looked at me. He said, can you believe this? From where everything was that Sarah's the first one to get married and give us a grandchild. What a miracle.

I never thought that there would be a time when I was actually cured. But there is a cure, and I'm living a cure. And my life is so much different than it was back then. [ Music ].

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