A 75-year-old man’s life was saved in a remarkable way by his own daughter, after he fell ill with a life-threatening infection.
The pensioner, Len Barnes from Stockton in the UK, suffered from a condition called Clostridium difficile, which caused him to suffer from bouts of severe diarrhea, loss of appetite, and stomach pains.
When the antibiotics failed to cure Mr. Barnes, doctors suggested a fecal transplant, which has a precedent in medicine, as Barnes explained.
“I’d never heard of it before. I thought, ‘come on, you’re taking the mickey,’ but my doctor explained that mixing healthy poo with my poo – and transferring it back into my bowel mixed with warm water – would give someone’s healthy bacteria the chance to fight with my bad bacteria.”
Who knew? Certainly not Mr. Barnes who is now pleased he listened to his doctor’s advice, as he was cured from the infection and is back on his feet.
When gastroenterologist Chris Wells raised the issue of finding a suitable donor, Debbie, Mr. Barnes’ daughter courageously volunteered to assist her father.
Mr. Barnes explained a little about the procedure, which essentially saw his daughter’s tested poop inserted into his bowels.
“I had a bit of sedation but watched it all happening on the screen in the endoscopy unit, it was interesting. I knew it had worked straight away. The next day Dr. Wells said I could go home and everything was back to normal.”
Dr. Wells also spoke to reporters about the fecal transplant and explained.
“Fecal transplantation doesn’t sound very appealing but it’s a very effective remedy in patients like Len. Transplanting faeces from one person to another does seem a bit unusual but actually it’s using healthy gut bacteria to fight off infection. Our bowels are packed full of billions of bacteria and these play an important role in maintaining health.”
While it might not sound like the most glamorous procedure, and is potentially a little embarrassing, the procedure was effective and in the case of Len Barnes, life-saving.
[Image credit: comeonengland.org]