Jewish Health

Gareth - Interview 15

Male
Age at diagnosis: 13

Brief outline: Gareth was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 13. Over the years he has had major surgery and now has nutritional food line fed directly into an artery in his heart. Crohn's has had a big impact on Gareth's life and he feels positive about the future.

Background: Gareth is a stand up comedian.

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Gareth was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the age of 13 and went on to have years of surgery and ill health. Around ten years ago his surgeon decided to put in a line and remove the jujenostomy and he now has nutritional liquid feed, fed directly into an artery in his heart. This feed takes six hours every other day and Gareth either sets it overnight or carries the feed round in a rucksack while he gets on with his life.
 

Gareth describes how his health experiences have had a massive impact on his life and he has experienced depression. In 2000, after a failed suicide attempt he became a stand-up comedian incorporating his health experiences into his act and he feels his life turned a corner. While he does gigs in support of Crohn’s charities or research, Gareth feels that he would like to move on from focusing on Crohn’s too much. Managing the line feed is a part of his life he accepts (although it puts some constraints on his ability to travel) and it has not caused a problem in relationships. He is largely positive about the future but would like a trendier rucksack to carry his feed around! 

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