LIFESTYLE

Crohn's Disease Model Bethany Townsend Inspires Countless Others To Post Their Own Photos

06/07/2014 21:11 BST | Updated 06/07/2014 21:59 BST

Last week a former model struck down by Crohn’s disease became an internet hit after posing in a bikini with her colostomy bag in full view.

bethany townsend crohns disease

Bethany Townsend, 23, dared to bare after being fitted with two of the bags

It seems she's been somewhat of an inspiration to other's with the disease who in their droves have posted their own pictures.

Bethany said last week: "I didn't expect this kind of reaction at all.

"The photo has been seen by millions of people and it's had 190,000 likes and over 10,000 comments on Facebook - it's just gone ballistic.

"I'm just so glad that it's brought about more awareness of Crohn's disease and it's made me feel so much more confident about the colostomy bags."

Crohn's is a condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system, affecting the sufferer's ability to digest food, absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.

In extreme situations, like Bethany's, it becomes necessary to remove the damaged section of the intestine and bring the healthy part out as a stoma - known as a colostomy.