Jade Hughes was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 17. The pain and discomfort was so severe that she spent hours doubled over in agony.
After years of physical and emotional torture, Jade opted for a major surgical procedure to have her large bowel removed, and replaced with a pouch or colostomy bag.
But just as Jade began to reap the benefits of the colostomy bag, which allowed her to be more active and “normal” than ever before, she was humiliated in public.
Jade bravely went to her local swimming club and, because of her pouch, was accused of “scaring” the children around her.
Scroll down to see Jade’s incredible reaction to being publicly shamed…
At the age of 17, Jade Hughes began experiencing horrible stomach pains, so severe that they left her either bedridden or running to the toilet. But no medications seemed to work.
Doctors diagnosed Jade with ulcerative colitis, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and sores in the digestive tract.
With no other options, Jade decided to undergo surgery to have her large bowel removed. Her bowel was replaced with a drainable pouch, or stoma.
At first, Jade was insecure about the stoma bag, but she hoped it would allow her to return to an active, normal life.
But Jade, now 23, never expected to be humiliated for swimming in public.
Because of her operation, Jade went from having to constantly carry around buckets and wet wipes to going on adventures and partaking in physical outdoor activities.
To celebrate her new sense of freedom and regain her health, Jade signed up at a swimming club in her community.
Not long after she got her membership, a fifty-something woman approached Jade in her bikini and began berating her in front of the other swimmers. She pointed to Jade’s colostomy bag and said, “Do you think that’s appropriate for the pool?”
Jade, speaking exclusively with Mirror.co.uk, said, “I think I was just stunned so I didn’t reply and then she said, ‘Well you know that shouldn’t be on show in pool? It’s not very nice for young children to see.'”
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Despite the woman’s complaints to the lifeguard, Jade was allowed to continue swimming.
However, the woman kept glaring at her in disapproval, making her too uncomfortable to swim.
“That lady has no idea what I’ve been through for the last seven years,” Jade told the Mirror. “Luckily for me I love my bag and I love my body. It looks after me everyday, it fights infection it keeps my heart racing and my blood pumping.”
Despite the woman’s bullying, Jade continues to go swimming at her local pool.
Last year, Jade married Will — and she attributes her newfound confidence to her husband’s unconditional support.
“The amount of times we’ve been out in public and he’s had to pull over so I could go to the toilet in a field,” she says.
Jade is sharing her story to encouraged other girls to be proud of their bodies.
“People will always judge you, always drag you down when your starting to feel really good about yourself. Ladies love your body!! Fat, thin, scars, stretch marks, SH*T BAGS! Love your fricken body!!!!!”
Bravo to Jade, for being an inspiration to all. Please SHARE her story with your friends on Facebook!