A woman suffering with an unknown yet debilitating condition has created a moving video in a desperate bid to find someone who can identify her mystery illness.
Courtney Martin, 24, from Canberra, Australia, has been suffering with an undiagnosed health problem that has left her in constant pain for the last three years.
Despite being admitted to hospital more than 50 times since her ordeal began, having five surgeries and over 20 different types of scans, she claims that doctors still don’t know what’s causing it.
The once fit and healthy criminology student battles with a string of symptoms, including stabbing pains, constant nausea and extreme fatigue, on a daily basis and hopes someone might see her video and be able to tell her why.
She said: “Every morning, I wake up in pain and no one can tell me why.
“I keep getting told that because I’m young and healthy, I can learn to deal with it but I don’t want to.
“I feel like an old lady. Every day I’m in unbearable pain and feel constantly nauseous and fatigued. I just want a normal life.
“I refuse to accept that there’s no one out there that knows what’s wrong with me. I hope that person sees this and can help.”
As a result of her unidentifiable chronic pain, the young part-time model finds just waking up a struggle and depends on her mum for support.
She said: “I used to have heaps of energy and was a very social person. I loved visiting friends and even modelled at Melbourne Fashion Week.
“Now, that part of my life is gone because I’m in too much pain.”
She added: “This is debilitating, exhausting, draining and consuming all of my energy. So much that basic daily tasks are too difficult.”
Courtney’s unidentified health problems began three years ago, when she first started experiencing cramp-like pains in her abdomen.
She said: “I’d noticed I had an uncomfortable pain in my lower stomach and at first I thought it was actually a sports injury.
“I went to see my GP who initially thought it was period pain and would pass. But it just spiralled from there.”
Doctors were confident Courtney had endometriosis, a condition that causes the lining of the uterus to grow in other places, but were left stumped when surgery to treat the condition revealed she didn’t have it.
Courtney said: “My doctor just couldn’t understand what was going on when he discovered there wasn’t any troublesome tissue inside me. He was so sure that’s what it was.
“Since then, doctors haven’t even come close to uncovering what’s causing the pain. I’ve been tested for auto-immune diseases, psychological conditions and have even had my appendix removed but the pain is still there.
“I’m constantly in and out of hospital in agony and things are only getting worse.”
In the last three years, Courtney has been admitted to hospital more than 50 times, has had five different surgeries and countless tests – all of which have drawn a blank.
She said: “The reality is doctors just don’t know why I’m in so much pain, which makes it even harder to live with. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve gone to bed, hoping I don’t wake up because my life isn’t worth living as it is.
“I can’t work, I can’t play sport, I can’t even eat some days. It’s unbearable.”
She added: “I refuse to believe that no one can help me. There must be someone out there who knows what is wrong.”
In a desperate hunt for answers, Courtney recorded an emotional video, detailing life with her mystery illness. It has been viewed almost 90,000 times since she uploaded it to Facebook.
She said: “I don’t want money and I’m not fundraising for treatment. All I’m asking for, is help.
“My hope is that a doctor or someone else going through what I’m going through sees it, and can then finally explain to me what is going on.
“I shouldn’t have to live like this. No one should. If you can help, please get in touch using the hashtag #HelpFindMyCure.”