Teen Experiences Severe Abdominal Pain for Months without Answers

Ireland colantuono

“Ireland’s delayed diagnosis led to a heart murmur”

In the seventh grade, Ireland started experiencing severe abdominal pain. Ireland’s modest personality kept her from telling her parents right away about the symptoms she was displaying., Ireland’s aunt noticed how pale her niece, who had been keeping her pain quiet for four whole months, appeared and how much weight she had lost. Her family began asking questions, and Ireland finally let them know what she was going through. At that stage, Ireland’s condition had worsened to the point where she was passing out frequently. Not understanding what was going on with her body, Ireland and her family feared the worst.

A colonoscopy determined that she was suffering from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. Due to the delay in diagnosis, Ireland had also developed a heart murmur and joint problems because of the inflammation. Initially, Ireland’s treatment regiment consisted of immunosuppressant drugs and prednisone, a corticosteroid. The latter is not a long term solution due to the number of serious side effects associated with that type of drug. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, bone fractures, cataracts, glaucoma, and increased chance of infection. But once the medications proved to be ineffective, Ireland sought out a specialist. The gastroenterologist put her on an inhibitor infusion treatment, a potent gastric acid suppressing agent, for two months. The three hours of daily treatment helped for six months before her symptoms flared up again. To try and help reduce the inflammation, Ireland’s doctors put her back on an immunosuppressant. She will need inflammation reducing treatments for the rest of her life. The only other option is surgery, but that is a last resort considering Ireland’s young age.

Ireland has a compassionate heart and a determined spirit. She loves animals and is great with kids. Her dream career is to become a sign language interpreter. In her spare time, she enjoys crooning along to the soulful lyrics of Adele and catching up on the latest episode of her favorite show, iZombie.

Kids Wish Network is hard at work planning a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Ireland; make sure to stay up to date by checking back soon for all of the spectacular details on her fabulous wish!

 

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Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs.