14/08/2014 16:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

This Mum May Look Heavily Pregnant - But It's An Unusual Medical Condition

Help at last for mum with bloating bowel condition that makes her look heavily pregnant

A woman has spent 15 years looking eight months pregnant due to a mysterious bowel condition.

Mum Joanne Turton, 33, from Hull, has suffered from a severely bloated stomach since she was 18 years old, including throughout her pregnancy with her daughter, who is now five.

Doctors have been baffled by her condition, but the mum of one is finally getting help after being trialled with a revolutionary machine, a bit like a pacemaker, which is placed into the bowel to help regulate her movements and stop the bloating.

Joanne is now waiting for another Gastric Electrical Stimulation Procedure to fit her with the device permanently.

"Ever since I've had this condition I've had a bloated stomach and it looks like I am eight months pregnant," says Joanne.

"It hurts all the time and I get stabbing pains in my side. It has affected me all my life and means I can't go out and socialise with friends like a normal person."

"When I had the trial they put it on the outside of my body with a tube leading down my throat. It instantly made me feel better and for the first time, I felt normal."

After researching her condition online, Joanne was only able to find one other person with similar symptoms - a patient living in America.

Joanne is now awaiting an operation to have the stimulating device fitted into her bowel permanently.

Funding for her operation has been confirmed by NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), but Joanne has to wait for a slot to become available at an NHS Trust that can carry out the specialist surgery.