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Race against time for woman, 23, with rare disease

A young woman who was diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease which paralysed her stomach has been sent home from hospital to die. 

Ruby Hill, 23, has spent the last four years enduring different treatments and trials in a bid to extend her life.  

The Whangarei woman, from New Zealand’s North Island, was diagnosed with gastroparesis in 2015.

It followed months of going back and forth between doctors – with many wrongly believing the condition was anorexia.

Ms Hill’s stomach became paralysed after she had her appendix removed and which has prevented her body from absorbing any nutrients.

A young woman who was diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease which paralysed her stomach has been sent home from hospital to die

Ruby Hill is only 23-years-old and has spent the last four years battling to stay alive, trying a number of different treatments and trials in a bid to extend her life

Ruby Hill is only 23-years-old and has spent the last four years battling to stay alive, trying a number of different treatments and trials in a bid to extend her life

Once a budding pilot, Ms Hill was stood down on grounds of illness, and had until 2020 to prove that she was healthy

Once a budding pilot, Ms Hill was stood down on grounds of illness, and had until 2020 to prove that she was healthy

On Friday she was officially discharged from hospital and told to spend her last days with family members.

Doctors in New Zealand believe they have exhausted every treatment option available. 

Ms Hill has found some pain relief in cannabis oil, which is the only product that appears to have had a positive effect on her.

‘In New Zealand the only treatments are opioid medications but I had severe reactions to everything they tried to put me on,’ she told Daily Mail Australia. 

She was given a prescription to use a small dosage of medicinal cannabis but the costs associated with the treatment are still astronomical.  

‘It’s about $500 for 25ml, which generally lasts between six and 10 days,’ she said.

On Friday she was officially discharged from hospital and told to spend her last days with family members after medical professionals exhausted every treatment option available, with no success

On Friday she was officially discharged from hospital and told to spend her last days with family members after medical professionals exhausted every treatment option available, with no success

Prior to the appendix removal surgery, Ms Hill hadn't experienced any difficulty keeping food down and was happy and healthy

Prior to the appendix removal surgery, Ms Hill hadn’t experienced any difficulty keeping food down and was happy and healthy

Ms Hill and her family have started fundraising efforts to travel to Canada while she is still able to do so, where medicinal marijuana was legalised back in 2001

Ms Hill and her family have started fundraising efforts to travel to Canada while she is still able to do so, where medicinal marijuana was legalised back in 2001

Ms Hill and her family have started fundraising efforts to travel to Canada while she is still able to do so, where medicinal marijuana was legalised back in 2001. 

She believes travelling to the country will give her more freedom to use the drug in a more beneficial way.  

‘I’ll be able to do a lot more because there’s more freedom there to play around with the effects of cannabis products that aren’t available in New Zealand.

‘I started researching clinics in Canada a couple of years ago and it became more and more appealing to me to get over there, it’s ticking something off my bucket list.’

Ms Hill’s GiveALittle page has already raised over $20,000 and has an uncapped goal. 

The 23-year-old's weight has now plummeted to about 35 kilos (77 pounds)

The 23-year-old’s weight has now plummeted to about 35 kilos (77 pounds)

Prior to the appendix removal surgery, Ms Hill hadn't experienced any difficulty keeping food down and was happy and healthy

Prior to the appendix removal surgery, Ms Hill hadn’t experienced any difficulty keeping food down and was happy and healthy

She says any additional funds that aren’t used for travel and treatment will be used to fund more research about the rare disease. 

Ms Hill spent nine months suffering extreme malnutrition, vomiting up every fluid or solid food she consumed while battling with doctors to get to the root of the issue.

Many said Ms Hill’s symptoms were in her head, some told her she was anorexic and depressed.

‘I knew the whole time that I wasn’t but after months of doctors saying ‘work with us, you’re doing this to yourself,’ you begin to start doubting your sanity,’ she said. 

Once a budding pilot, Ms Hill was stood down on grounds of illness, and had until 2020 to prove that she was healthy. 

The 23-year-old now weights 35 kilos (77 pounds).

Her GiveALittle page has successfully raised $20,000 in the three days since it began, providing Ms Hill with a new lease on life as she prepares herself for the journey to Canada.

Her GiveALittle page has successfully raised $20,000 in the three days since it began, providing Ms Hill with a new lease on life as she prepares herself for the journey to Canada

Her GiveALittle page has successfully raised $20,000 in the three days since it began, providing Ms Hill with a new lease on life as she prepares herself for the journey to Canada

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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