How getting food poisoning at a work Christmas party changed a young girls' ...

How getting food poisoning at a work Christmas party changed a young girls' ...
How getting food poisoning at a work Christmas party changed a young girls' ...

Pictured: Paige Simpson, 25

Pictured: Paige Simpson, 25

A young woman who grew up with a debilitating bowel disease got food poisoning so badly at a work Christmas party that doctors removed her large intestine - and she'll will have to wait a decade to get a transplant.

Paige Simpson, from Dubbo north-west of Sydney, was diagnosed with hollow visceral myopathy at the age of six months - a lifelong condition that impacts intestinal and bladder muscles to the point where they don't work. 

As a result, the 25-year-old never feels as though she needs to use the bathroom and relies on medical devices to drain waste from her body. 

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Despite carrying feeding tubes, an ileostomy bag attached to her intestine, and catheters around in a backpack throughout her schooling life, she somehow managed to hide her disease from her teachers and friends.

Before November last year, the 25-year-old worked for 60 hours per week as a barista at a café, she rented a house on her own, ate at restaurants, drank with friends on Friday nights and 'lived a relatively normal life'.

But that all changed when her workmates went to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate the end of the year together.

Paige Simpson (pictured before she got sick) said she lived a relatively normal life until November last year, when she got food poisoning

Paige Simpson (pictured before she got sick) said she lived a relatively normal life until November last year, when she got food poisoning

Pictured: Paige Simpson before she got so sick her large intestine was removed. She was a healthy weight, despite her bowel condition

Pictured: Paige Simpson before she got so sick her large intestine was removed. She was a healthy weight, despite her bowel condition

'Up until that point, I had been eating on my own and didn't need to feed myself through a drip like I used to when I was a kid, but then I got really sick after the staff Christmas party,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'After that, I knew my life would never be the same again.' 

At first, she thought it was regular food poisoning - she couldn't eat or drink anything, felt sick and dehydrated, but the symptoms lasted weeks - worsening as time went on.

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'I was getting sicker and sicker, and I progressively lost about 14kg - I got down to 38kg at one point, and I'm 165cm tall' she said. 

After she got food poisoning, Paige Simpson started losing weight dramatically. She got down to 38kg when she was admitted to hospital. Pictured after losing weight

After she got food poisoning, Paige Simpson started losing weight dramatically. She got down to 38kg when she was admitted to hospital. Pictured after losing weight

Paige was used to taking medication and getting nutrients from a bag - which she did throughout her childhood

Paige was used to taking medication and getting nutrients from a bag - which she did throughout her childhood

She was violently ill and suffering from excruciating abdominal pain, but - having lived with intestinal problems all her life - Paige tried to ignore the problem and  continued working long hours at the café.

Eventually, she was admitted to the Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Sydney - five hours away from her hometown - when she

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