1. ITV Report

Worcester woman with Crohns disease becomes internet sensation

A 23-year-old woman from Worcester who has Crohns disease has become an internet sensation after posing in a bikini, exposing her colostomy bags.

Bethany Townsend's photo has been viewed by more than nine million people and she has received more than 190,000 'likes' on Facebook.

Bethany's holiday photo has received a huge reaction online Credit: Bethany Townsend

Crohn’s disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system, affecting the sufferer’s ability to digest food, absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.

In 2010 Bethany almost died when her bowel ruptured. Since then she has been fitted with two colostomy bags. She has also undergone a stem cell transplant when she caught MRSA.

In extreme situations, it becomes necessary for Bethany to remove the damaged section of the intestine and bring the healthy part out as a stoma - known as a colostomy.

Bethany decided she wanted to raise awareness of Crohns disease, so she got in touch with Crohn’s and Colitis UK Facebook group to see if they would let her post something on their page.

She told ITV News:

I never thought that picture would get so much attention - it's incredible. All I've ever wanted to do it get awareness for Crohn's disease. Finally feel like I have done that. The support has been amazing.

Bethany from Worcester is pursuing a career as model Credit: Bethany Townsend

Bethany says the positive reaction online has given her the confidence to pursue her career as a model - something she initially gave up on when she was fitted with the colostomy bags.

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