For 10 years Kelly Holder couldn’t eat without becoming ill.

Every time she tried to enjoy a meal or even a snack she suffered serious stomach pain and nausea to the point where her weight plummeted and was constantly exhausted.

But now after life-changing surgery the 26-year-old designer in the motor industry is beginning to lead a normal life again.

Kelly, who lives in Dalston, near Carlisle, was just 16 when she first suffered crippling stomach pains and bloating.

She was prescribed medication but when she started university her condition worsened. Her drugs were increased but the side effects made her worse.

Kelly explained: “I struggled during my time at university; it was an emotional time for me. I had severe stomach pain, felt sick after eating and often found it difficult to keep food down.

“I couldn’t digest food properly and was put on liquids for almost a year. I lost about one and a half stone in weight and felt exhausted all the time.”

She was finally diagnosed with gastroparesis – paralysis of the stomach muscles which means the stomach cannot empty itself in the normal way – and underwent two procedures at Spire Leeds Hospital.

Then while Kelly was working at Jaguar in Coventry she was taken into hospital with stomach infections and in 2015 spent the New Year in hospital. She ended up leaving Jaguar and moving home to Carlisle to work as a freelancer so she could better deal with the symptoms.

“I was in so much pain I felt exhausted all of the time and wasn’t up to socialising,” said Kelly.

She was referred to a consultant who sent her to Sushil Maslekar, consultant in colorectal and general surgery and Simon Dexter, consultant in general surgery and gastrointestinal surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital.

Initially she had an enterra gastric stimulator, similar to a heart pacemaker, implanted in January 2016, before a sacral nerve stimulator (SNS) was implanted later that year.

Mr Maslekar said: “Essentially Kelly presented with a non-functioning bowel and stomach so she underwent an SNS procedure for her bowel and an enterra for her stomach. Both procedures were successful and she has her life back.”

Kelly added: “Having the SNS fitted was a life changer. I’m delighted to be able to eat more normally again. I cannot eat big meals but I’m eating little and often and putting weight back on.

“My hair and nails have also started growing again now that I’m getting the nutrients from food.”