Jean’s Story

Jean's story, as told by her son Chris as part of Guts UK's Pancreatitis Awareness Campaign - Kranky Panky.

One weekend, my mother called me with stomach pain. Mum lived in sheltered housing. I knew her friend would be with her and I made my way over. I found my mum on the bathroom floor in absolute agony. She had also vomited, so I took her straight to hospital.

Mum was assessed rather quickly and put on a surgical assessment unit ward. We could only stay a while as visitors, as per the rules, so I left just after midnight, planning to go back after a quick nap.

I received a phone call in the morning from the hospital, asking me to come down as she was not doing well.

When I arrived, I was taken straight into a side room. I felt instantly sick. I knew my mum had gone. The doctor told me what happened and to say I was devastated is an understatement. Our mum’s heart gave out in the end, the pancreatitis attack had put too much strain on her as she was 74.

Our mum was a very happy person. She had the time for anyone about anything. She was only five-foot-four, but with piercing blue eyes. I have her eyes, too. Mum had three sons; Darren, Kevin and myself, Chris. If there was one thing I could count on, it was her unwavering love and friendship.

Three years before she passed, we lost my younger brother to suicide. Because he was her youngest, it was harder for her – I don’t think she ever got past that. She was an only child, like many born just after the war. Times were hard, but it made mum very resilient. This showed in my mum, she was both tough and tender.

Losing the biggest part of your life in the space of a few hours truly crushed me and my family, but I’m pretty certain she is still looking after me.

A few months after I lost my mum, I started with severe stomach pains. Read my pancreatitis story here.

Guts UK is the only UK charity funding a research fellowship into pancreatitis.

We are dedicated to finding an effective treatment for this devastating condition. People are suffering, people are dying, all because of a lack of knowledge about our guts. Join our community and champion our cause by donating to our life-saving research today.

Together, we can find a cure for pancreatitis. Be part of life-saving research by donating to Guts UK's research today.

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