Mum wins battle for operation that will transform her life
A mum from Midsomer Norton is delighted after a change of heart by health bosses over funding for an operation which she hopes will give her a normal life once more.
The story of 43-year-old Alison Jukes and her battle to persuade the NHS to let her have surgery touched the hearts of Somerset Guardian readers when her teenage son George revealed how his desperately ill mother had lost 40 per cent of her body weight after being diagnosed with gastroparesis.
Now Mrs Jukes and her family are over the moon that the Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has reviewed her application for funding for a gastric pacemaker.
In a letter to her doctor, the body which is taking over local health decisions says it has reviewed the information it has been given and is now happy to approve the procedure.
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More than 4,000 people signed a petition on her behalf and her case was raised in the House of Commons by North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg in December as support to get funding in place for surgery gathered momentum.
The pacemaker will kickstart her stomach so that food can get into her digestive system.
Her family hope it will mean she will be able to join the family at the dining table once more and just enjoy family life.
Her first application for funding was turned down but leading consultant Sri Kadirkamanathan, an expert in this type of surgery, made a second application for funding giving information based on the 80-plus similar operations he has carried out.
He will now carry out the procedure at Chelmsford Hospital.
Mrs Jukes said: "I am looking forward to waking up in the morning and feeling normal and not feeling sick and getting my energy back.
"It is fingers crossed. I don't know what the future will hold and whether this will work but now I know I have a chance. You have to think positive and this is the next step."
A spokesman for the CCG said it could not comment on individual cases.