Woman Releases Images Of The 5 Lb Hernia That Made Her Vomit Feces


A former Army cadet has released shocking images of her enormous 5 pound hernia which was so heavy, it slapped against her thighs, leaving bruises.

Living in agony for years after the mysterious growth appeared out of the blue one day in 2014, Tanya Evans, 28, postponed surgery while she desperately tried for a baby with her fiancé Mark Jenkins, 31.

Amazingly, just as she was giving up hope, Tanya, who can no longer work, fell pregnant with Josie, who was born in December 2016.

Tanya (PA Real Life/Collect)

But now, following a major operation in April 2018 to remove the bowel—which was pushing through her abdominal wall causing the hernia—as well as her rectum and anus, which had been irreparably damaged following a prolapse, she is still battling with daily pain.

Tanya, of Swansea, South Wales, said:

“I still struggle every day, with the simplest of tasks. Mark has to help me shower and I can barely lift anything. That means I can’t pick Josie up for a cuddle, which is heartbreaking.”

“She’s too young to understand, so she thinks it’s because she’s been naughty. The physical side of things has been hard, but the mental has been absolute torture.”

Tanya and daughter Josie (PA Real Life/Collect)

Tanya’s nightmare began back in 2014, when she was raced to hospital with a severe bowel obstruction.

Gravely ill, her skin turned yellow and she even vomited up feces.

She explained:

“I was vomiting up something black, which tasted disgusting. Medics tested it and told me it was feces. I was absolutely terrified.”



Tanya’s hernia at its heaviest (PA Real Life/Collect)

Forced to have an ileostomy, where the small bowel, or intestine, is diverted through an opening in the abdomen, Tanya was left with a stoma bag, designed to collect the waste that would ordinarily be passing through the large intestine and out of the body.

Despite a few weeks of colic—abdominal pain—she felt relatively well, and was hopeful she would make a full recovery.

But one day later in 2014, a hernia appeared—which occurs when an internal part of the body, in Tanya’s case, her bowel, pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding wall.



Tanya showing her hernia (PA Real Life/Collect)

She said:

“I had it checked over, and confirmed as a hernia. At first, I was reassured it could be easily sorted out—but then, I also began to bleed from my bottom.”

Further investigations revealed that Tanya was suffering from diversion colitis, and inflammation of the colon, which can occur as a complication of surgery.

Given pain medication as well as steroid enemas to calm the inflammation, she faced another knock-back when she realized that surgery to remove the growth could cause fertility issues, as doctors warned that, if the womb was affected too, a hysterectomy may be necessary.

With a waiting list for the procedure anyway, doctors agreed she should take the chance to try for a baby while she could.

She said:

“Mark and I tried and tried and I cried at every negative test.”

“I started to fear it would never happen for us, but then, we conceived.”

“Josie was born on December 22, 2016 three weeks early, weighing 7lb 6oz. She had to be delivered via caesarean, due to the hernia, but she was happy and healthy.”

Tanya after her April 2018 surgery, with no support belt on (PA Real Life/Collect)

After recovering from childbirth, Tanya met with a team of doctors, and her surgery was pencilled in for August 2017.

She continued:

“But then August came and went, then September, then October. I was told there were no beds available, which I understand happens, but what was I supposed to do?  I felt like I was dying.”

“Then, at the end of the year, I discovered the surgeon who was meant to be doing my operation was retiring, so no longer available. I was terrified I’d be back at square one, on another wait list to see another doctor.”



Tanya’s hernia at its heaviest (PA Real Life/Collect)

Tanya added:

“I contacted the patient liaison department and they kept asking what they could do to help. But all anyone could do was wait for a cancellation to come up. So, I fought and fought.”

As she waited, Tanya’s hernia continued to grow, eventually reaching 5 pounds.

She added:

“It affected everything I did, and put so much pressure on my body. Sitting down hurt, standing up hurt—everything. It even bruised my legs where it’d bang against my thigh. At its worst, it would twist and strangulate, where the blood supply to the intestines and abdominal tissues gets cut off.”

Tanya now, with her bag (PA Real Life/Collect)

Eventually, in April 2018, Tanya went under the knife. Though she did not have a hysterectomy, surgeons did remove her bowel, rectum and anus, which had been damaged by a prolapse—where organs fall down, or slip out of place.

Adding that, since the hernia was removed, she has gone from a size 20 to a 10, she continued:

“Apparently, where the strangulated hernia had cut off the blood supply, my bowel was just completely dead, and the tissue was virtually disintegrated.”

“Once they saw the damage that’d been going on inside, medics couldn’t believe I’d been walking around. It’s not that I have a high pain threshold, though. I’ve just become used to the pain, which is very sad.”

Tanya wearing a support belt after her April 2018 surgery (PA Real Life/Collect)

When she first came round, Tanya admitted she could not bear to look at her scar, which she said resembled a shark bite.

Now, still wearing a bag attached to her stoma to collect waste, she is hoping to also have tummy tuck surgery to remove the baggy skin where it was stretched over the hernia.

With a hysterectomy still a consideration in the future, depending on how her regular check ups go, she said:

“When people hear tummy tuck, they assume it’s because I want to look good. But it’s actually because I have been left with saggy skin, that can hang down and make my bag leak.”

She added:

“Life is very different for me now. I have to be incredibly careful just moving around, as one awkward fall could split my stitching and hospitalize me. I still sit on an air cushion every day, too, as sitting down without is simply too painful.”

“I don’t want anybody else to go through this, so I am urging others out there to keep pushing and fighting for help if they need it.”

Jo Davies, Assistant Service Group Manager, Surgical Specialties for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, which covers Swansea, said:

“In line with other health boards in Wales, we continue to experience significant challenges in providing routine/urgent elective surgery. We are taking ongoing action to reduce the length of time patients are waiting for surgery.”

Tanya and daughter Josie (PA Real Life/Collect)

Jo continued:

“This includes the appointment of new consultant surgeons, the outsourcing of appropriate patients to private hospitals, and additional theatre sessions. Waiting lists are also reviewed weekly to ensure patients with the highest clinical needs are given priority.”

“Ms Evans did not meet the clinical criteria for outsourcing and required an inpatient bed in one of our hospitals. However, as always, we have to give priority to patients with life/limb-threatening conditions, cancer and trauma patients.”

“Unfortunately as a result of this we were unable to offer Ms Evans an earlier date, though we are very pleased her surgery went ahead earlier this year.”