Why this Welsh bus driver keeps posing for photos with his stoma bag

Why this Welsh bus driver keeps posing for photos with his stoma bag

A bus driver has shared photos of his “glam” stoma bag in a bid to raise awareness and encourage people to feel confident wearing them.

Grandad Keith Thomas, 56, from Llanelli had his entire bowel removed in 2012 after it nearly ruptured following a lifetime of living with ulcerative colitis - a condition that causes the rectum and colon to blister and bleed.

Keith has been living with a stoma bag which connects to the end of his small intestine and collects bodily waste through a hole in his stomach ever since.

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And the dad-of-four is happy to show off the bag which he accessorises with a variety of colourful covers, including one with a Welsh dragon.

He confidence is so high he has cheekily named it ‘Homer the stoma’ and even wants to go on national TV to show it off.

Keith is proud to wear a stoma bag (Image: UGC)
He wants everyone to see it - and even wants to show it off on TV (Image: Stomawise Charity)

He said: “Get me on national TV. I will get it out. I would go on any daytime TV show. I’m up for anything.

“It’s no different than looking after any other illness.

“I’m aware that’s me and not everybody is like that but I have continued to do my best to raise awareness and keep speaking up about it.

“I’ve got covers, something to glam the bag up a bit.

“It goes down quite well.”

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The First Cymru bus driver, who is busy raising money for Crohns and Colitis UK, shares photos of his bag on social media in a bid to encourage people to feel confident wearing bags.

Before his operation his ulcerative colitis, which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, was so bad Keith said he could barely leave the house and was constantly suffering flare ups.

He has to take up to 20 tablets a day to manage it.

When he went to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital in 2012, four years after being diagnosed with stomach pain, it turned out his bowel was so damaged it was dangerously close to perforating which could have killed him.

So when they suggested removing his colon and rectum and giving him a ileostomy bag for life he said he was determined to be “positive”.

He even got it out at the top of Pen y Fan (Image: UGC)

He said: “Going to work I would soil myself in the car and would have to turn around and go back home.

“There was no hope of saving my bowel and they said it’s got to go.

“That’s when I decided I was going to have the operation and I was going to be positive about it.

“Those 10 days in hospital gave me my life back.

“The bag will be with me forever now.”

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Keith gets his specially designed stoma bag covers from designer Lisa Wilkinson who runs Stoma Style.

He has another one with ‘I love my Ileostomy bag’ on it and is planning on ordering a Christmas themed one for the festive season.

And Keith is using his experiences to help others who are getting used to life with a stoma bag.

He said one woman, who was struggling to adjust, asked him how he stayed so positive.

Keith's a bus driver and is happy to chat to passengers about his condition (Image: Stomawise Charity)

He said: “I said to her over the years I have lost many, many friends to many, many different illnesses.

“Everyone of those people I’m positive would swap places with me just to have a bag.

“All I have to cope with is a bag.

“When I was ill I couldn’t leave the house for four years and now I’m having a whale of a time.

“At the end of the day I’m alive and I’m living my life.”

Source : http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-bus-driver-keeps-posing-13759760

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