A teenage blogger has opened up in a powerful video about her life changing emergency surgery for an ileostomy bag, following a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis.
Hattie Gladwell, 19, underwent surgery for Ulcerative Colitis at the beginning of the year. Gladwell says that her ileostomy bag enables her to live a "pain free life".
An ileostomy bag is a process where the large intestine is removed and medics bring a small intestine out of the abdomen. Then an opening is created for the end called a stoma. That stoma allows the stool to come out through the opening into the bag, and the bag is placed every day securely around the stomach.
The brave teenager spends her time campaigning for Crohn's & Colitis UK . She also works with many different ostomy outlets to help raise awareness for Ostomy and Irritable Bowel Disease.
Gladwell describes creating the video as being one of "the hardest, most emotional experiences I have encountered on throughout my recovery. But it's also one of the most honest. It's truth".
The video has received an extremely positive response from viewers all over the world, and it has already had over 39,000 views.
In the video, Gladwell says her entire journey was "Hard to deal with. How do you accept that when there's so much negativity in our society?" Recalling the beginning of her life changing surgery, Gladwell says "I initially refused to look down at my stomach... I thought my world had ended".
Gladwell aims to inspire and uplift people through sharing her experiences, and talking about what makes her unique, "Beauty is skin deep, its bravery, its being unique."
"Its being proud of something that makes you unique", Gladwell expressed in the video.
The campaigner claimed that the stoma saved her life, but she "didn't let it destroy me." Looking to the future, Gladwell says that as she approaches her fourth month out of surgery, "I am grateful. It gave me freedom."
The main message of Gladwell's video was that " We should all spend less time worrying about how society wants us to be, and more time enjoying the life we're given."
You can follow Hattie's inspiring journey on her blog 'More than your bag' , where she aims to encourage people with low self esteem to embrace their bodies.