Doncaster mum says she is starving to death because of a rare stomach condition - but she must pay for her own operation

A Doncaster mum says she is starving to death because of a rare stomach condition.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 2:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 10:21 am

But she the NHS will not fund an operation which could help her because it only has a 50:50 success rate.

Now Amy Burton is trying to raise the money for the £18,000 operation at a hospital in Leeds herself.

The 29-year-old qualified nurse has gastroparesis – a paralysed stomach. It means she vomits 40 times and cannot digest food or even keep a cup of tea down.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Amy Burton with son Charlie, aged eight
Amy Burton with son Charlie, aged eight

It leaves her with malnutrition and dehydration and on on morphine for the constant pain.

She says it means she has no energy to look after her sons, aged four and eight.

"I've not eaten a meal in two years and I'm literally starving to death," she said. "I can't look after my children properly and I can't go back to work. This operation is my only chance at a normal life."

The 29-year-old wants to try gastroelectrical stimulation, which is currently not routinely funded on the NHS

Amy Burton with mum Carol Cullen

In 2017, Amy, from Edlington, was in hospital for two months after her illness first appeared and she lost two stone. She says she was initially sent to see a psychiatrist after medics suspected an eating disorder.

It took a year before she was diagnosed with gastroparesis. She says she is admitted to hospital because of the condition around once a month, and lives on medicated drinks containing around 300 calories a time.

"I've just come out of hospital because I lost a stone in a week. I get hypoglycemic because of very low blood sugar levels and get dizzy and faint. I'm at risk of falling into a hypoglycemic coma. I can't move when I get so weak from a bad episode,” she said.

Amy has applied to have the operation privately, and has set up a crowdfunding appeal on https://www.gofundme.com/f/amy039s-life-saving-surgery.

Amy Burton, centre, with mum Carol Cullen, left and sister Robyn Burton, right.

Meanwhile her cousin, the professional boxer Jamie Larkins, has arranged a boxing night at the Barnsley Metrodome to raise money for her appeal on July 11.

Doncaster Royal Infirmary says funding is co-ordinated by NHS England.

Amy Burton