Watch Ann-Marie, from Cornwall, on her mystery illness and giving birth (credit: BPM Media)
A woman from Cornwall has given birth to “miracle” twins - despite not being able to eat or drink properly.
Ann-Marie Williams has spent the past decade trying to find answers over a mystery sickness which has left her too ill to eat.
But during a stay in hospital last year, the 40-year-old was left gobsmacked after doctors told her was 18 weeks pregnant - with twins.
And despite not showing any signs of a bump and having not eaten properly during her pregnancy, Ann-Marie gave birth to two healthy girls - Morwenna and Elowen - in January.
“It was an absolute shock, but a miracle at the same time,” she said. "I missed a period in June and I did do a pregnancy test but it was negative so I put it down to my health and getting over sepsis.
“I then had a blood test done and it was off but didn't reveal I was pregnant. Some of my illness symptoms started to actually feel better at this time and I would have a few hours a day where I didn’t feel too bad which was strange, but I had no idea."
For the past four years, Ann-Marie has been using a machine to eat and described every day as a struggle.
But now the mum-of-two, from St Just, is more hopeful than ever that she will find a cure for her illness.
‘I started losing weight’
Ann-Marie’s sickness started around 10 years ago after she returned from a holiday in Turkey with friends.
It started with flu-like symptoms, which lasted around three days.
But two weeks later, Ann-Marie felt sick again - and this time, it stayed.
Now, every time she eats or drinks something, she is unable to keep it down.
"I started losing weight and went down to eight stone. The doctors just thought it must be something I’d picked up on holiday, but it didn't go away," she said.
Over the past decade, she has tried countless medical tests, herbal treatment and even a gastric emptying study - which showed a severe delay of her stomach and bowel.
After plummeting down to six-and-a-half stone, Ann-Marie had a Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) line fitted.
This pumps all of the calories and nutrients she needs into her system so she does not have to eat or drink herself.
Remarkably, this device was also used to feed her twins during her pregnancy.
Ann-Marie believes they could be the first babies to have been exclusively fed in this way before birth.
She gave birth to the twins via C-section at 34 weeks, and they had to be immediately put on feeding tubes.
Ann-Marie then caught Covid-19 and was unable to be with her children for sometime.
She is now fundraising to undergo tests, treatment and see specialist doctors in order to overcome her mystery illness.
'It frightens me'
Ann-Marie said: "I'm trying to find a really specialist doctor and I'm at the point where I'm wondering if that person is even there, if they exist.
"I have spoken to lots of doctors and alternative doctors over the years and they all say there are lots of things going on and my situation is so complex that nobody knows where to start.
"I always have hopes to go to the beach with them [the babies] or go to the park with them. Socially, I can't go out and do things with them and I don't know what the future holds and it scares me.
"It really frightens me that I'm never going to be the person I want to be for them and everyday I end up crying when I look at them. I had a great childhood and I want to do all those things for them and take them out in their pram.”
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