A teenager with Crohn's disease has shared photos of her scars and ileostomy bag in order to inspire other patients to be body confident.
Aimee Rouski, 19, from Liverpool, posted the photos onto Facebook along with the caption: "First off I have Crohn's disease, it's a serious incurable illness that nearly killed me, not just a stomach ache like most people seem to think.
"A person with Crohn's will go through many different treatments including surgery, and it's the surgery I want to touch on now."
According to the NHS, Crohn's disease is a long-term condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system.
On Facebook, Rouski explained that she had a permanent ileostomy bag fitted after having her large intestine, colon and rectum removed. She has scars on her inner thighs, as tissue from this area was used for plastic surgery on her wounds.
"I've always been okay with the stuff that has happened to me, but some people have real difficulties accepting these things so I just want to say this," she said.
"No one will know unless you tell them. People who know will still love you and still find you beautiful.
"Your illness is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about."
More than 13,000 people have reacted to the post on Facebook, with over 1,000 commenting to show Rouski their support.
"You are incredible. Thank you for sharing your struggle and empowering others to do the same," one said.
Another added: "You're incredibly brave. My father has suffered with Crohn's his whole life. I was lucky enough to have avoided it, however I'm fearful that if I ever have children, they too will inherit it.
"Hopefully more awareness is raised and research is done to treat and one day cure Crohn's."
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