The final surgery

By Meredith O’Neil/El Inde

Thirty-one-year-old Scott Gooderham thought he was going to die. He had lost forty pounds and was still losing weight fast. He had been living for seven years with a disease that normally affects people much older than him. 

At 24, he had been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease similar to Crohn’s that caused ulcers in his intestines. Gooderham’s own body was attacking his intestines, and they were deteriorating: Not only did he have ulcers all along his colon, but it was spreading up through his large intestine.

Until his diagnosis, Gooderham had been healthy, exercising every day and eating well. And there was no family history of Ulcerative Colitis. It appeared one day and affected every part of his life. Suddenly, he wasn’t able to ride his bike, eat favorite foods like pizza, and hardly slept. 

Once he was diagnosed, Gooderham would be put on a slew of different medications and infusions. Each one would last a few months, maybe a few years, and he’d feel sick again. When the last resort infusion stopped working, he had one final option: surgery that would remove his whole large intestine.

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