Woman's 'pinch-me' moment after spending years in bed

Katie Gwilt said she spent two years in bed recovering
-Credit: (Image: Katie Gwilt)


A woman claims she spent “two years” of her life in bed after being misdiagnosed with a common condition.

Katie Gwilt, from Garston, believed she had irritable bowel syndrome for 21 years of her life. It was only when the 44-year-old collapsed in a bathroom and was rushed to a nearby hospital that it came to light she did not have IBS - but instead endometriosis.

The long-term condition caused Katie “severe pain” as it saw tissue similar to the lining of the womb grow in other places including the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

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Upon the new-found discovery of Katie’s actual health condition, she had to have eight surgeries - some of which “robbed” her of a kidney, part of her intestine and the chance of becoming a mum.

The biochemistry and neurobiology graduate told the ECHO: “I was walking one day along with a work client to his office and I suddenly felt like everything was closing in on me.

“I went to the toilet and the next thing I knew I was on the floor collapsed. I felt like a mess inside and my vision just went black like in a tunnel. I ended up having lots of surgeries and lived with a stoma bag for a while.

“They tried to save the kidney but it was completely dead at this point. It’s been really difficult for me, I would have loved to have children but it’s clearly just not meant to be.”

Katie Gwilt said she found solace in the animals after a "tough" few years
Katie Gwilt said she found solace in the animals after a "tough" few years -Credit:Katie Gwilt

Katie had to stop working in scientific sales as she spent the majority of her recovery in her bed. Concentrating on her health and wellbeing, she began to think about what she wanted to do with “the rest of her life”. Katie knew she always wanted to work with animals, particularly cats, and felt this was the perfect opportunity for her to retrain as a groomer.

She said: “I have always felt a special affinity with them and I’m lucky to have four in my life at the moment. As a teenager, I worked in a veterinary practice and spent a summer at Knowsley Safari Park while in sixth form.

“My childhood dream was to be a vet. I loved the work but found the sadder aspects more difficult so I decided not to do a degree in it.”

Katie Gwilt is the founder of The Kat Lady
Katie Gwilt is the founder of The Kat Lady -Credit:Katie Gwilt

Katie’s “childhood dream” is now a reality as she is the brains behind the grooming business, The Kat Lady. Caring for cats across Merseyside, Katie prides herself on taking a holistic approach.

She said: "I eased back into work as a cat sitter and dared to dream that I may be able to work with cats as a career after all. Cats are delicate and nuanced, and working with them is my privilege.

“From being in bed for two years to where I am now, I still need to pinch myself. I went through such a tough time: I lost my nan, my marriage broke down, and I had to move back to Liverpool. Everything and anything that could go wrong did go wrong in the space of a few years for me, so it really is amazing to be here with this business now.”

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