Kentish Town carer's fight to raise profile of bladder illnesses
PUBLISHED: 14:41 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:41 20 December 2019
"My bladder stopped working last summer."
After quitting a job in the City to help care for her dying grandfather, Kentish Town woman Laura Piercey, 25, was doubly devastated when she developed health problems of her own in summer 2018.
She stopped being able to pee, and 18 months later a number of complications mean what was supposed to be a temporary catheter has become a permanent part of her life.
Laura had hoped to become a nurse, but her illness meant she wasn't able to continue training.
Now, she's hoping to raise money for charity Bladder Health UK and to raise awareness of the condition.
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Laura told this newspaper: "It has been a really difficult time trying to get a diagnosis and finding a treatment plan.
"It's to highlight that I am not the only one. it's quite common. Especially in young girls and women who have bladder issues like myself and have to fight for a diagnosis, most of us are being told it's just a UTI."
Laura was nominated to GoFundMe as a worthy cause by a friend who she had helped through mental health issues. She is also speaking out in order to try to reduce the stigma of having a catheter bag, which she calls Cathy.
She said: "At first GoFundMe wanted to raise money to help me have private treatment, but I didn't want money for myself. I wanted to raise awareness and Bladder Health are a tiny charity that do so much work!"
Laura added the last year and a half had been "hugely difficult". She told the Ham&High: "I woke up and had a suprapubic catheter. The next day I was just left to get on with it. And I have been in and out of hospital frequently since then. I keep picking up infections and I am no longer responding to antibiotics."
To help Laura's fundraiser, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/lauracathy2020