A ‘heartbroken’ young mum is crowdfunding for liposuction after the NHS refused to treat a rare disorder that causes abnormal fat cells to gather on her arms and legs.
Criana Shear, 35, has struggled with weight gain her whole life despite regular exercise and a healthy diet.
When Criana gave birth to her son, Aaryan, now five, medics noticed an abnormality and diagnosed her with Stage 4 lipoedema, Birmingham Live reported.
The rare chronic condition, where fat cells cluster on the arms, legs, thighs and buttocks, causes continuous swelling and pain.
The only solution for the debilitating condition is liposuction – but the NHS has denied her treatment because her case is not ‘exceptional’ and liposuction is considered a cosmetic treatment.
Criana, who is from Great Barr, Birmingham , said: “I’ve been told that if I don’t get this surgery then I will end up in a wheelchair.
“There’ll be a point where I won’t be able to get up the stairs due to the pressure on my left leg.
“I’m already not going shopping because I can’t walk that far and for that long because of how heavy my legs are."
Criana’s condition has deteriorated and she already struggles to get her 23 stone frame up the stairs to the bathroom.
But when Criana consulted an occupational therapist about funding for building a toilet downstairs, she was told her condition had to be severe and proved by sleeping downstairs.
She added: “I’ve had to cut my hair short so I can wash it because I can’t lift my arms, and my husband has to help me get my legs over the bath so I can shower.
“It just seems to me as though they wait for you to be on the floor nearly dead before they will do anything for you.
“It’s a shambles, it is ridiculous. These adaptations will cost more in the long run than just funding the operation which will change my life.”
For Criana, the prospect of giving up on her career ambitions is just as daunting as finding a way to manage the every day tasks in pain.
She has worked as a registrar at her local council for the last 16 years and has been signed off as sick since November.
Criana said: “I want to carry on working. I love my job, but it’s not the kind of job you can do from home.
“If I don’t get this surgery I am going to lose my job in November. I’m ambitious and I want a career.”
According to the mum-of-one, the surgery will prevent the condition from returning.
She added: “I have been told that it won’t come back. I’ll be able to carry on working and to live a normal life.
“I have a young child and I want us to have a future together as a family."
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