Student with stage four endometriosis rushed to hospital after horrific flare up

  • Social work student hospitalised after painful endometriosis flare up at uni
  • Isobel Thompson is undergoing a second round of surgery next week to remove the endometriosis which has spread to other pelvic areas 

Twenty-year-old Isobel Thompson was rushed to hospital after suffering the worst endometriosis flare up she has ever experienced. 

Isobel who studies social work at Oxford Brookes University was at a recall day at the university when she suffered the painful flare up. 

She said: “It was very sudden and very painful, hands down the worst I’ve ever had. I was screaming in pain and shaking, at first they thought I was having a fit.”

A member of staff at the university phoned an ambulance which took her to John Radcliffe Hospital. The paramedics took Isobel’s blood pressure which was a high 191, and her temperature which was 39. She said: “Even though I was heating up I felt freezing and couldn’t stop my teeth from chattering.”

Isobel was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis and adenomyosis in March 2018, when she had her first surgery. She has been suffering from symptoms of the condition since she was 11. She said: “I sought out support for this from numerous professionals but many of them said it was normal and just to get on with it and ride out the pain.”

Isobel with fiancé Brandon
Isobel with fiancé Brandon

Isobel is undergoing a second round of surgery next week to remove the endometriosis which has drastically spread around her pelvic areas and to remove the fluid found in her abdomen during an ultrasound scan. The surgeon will also locate her left ovary which is thought to be stuck to her bowel. 

Isobel said: “Endo affects my life massively on a daily basis. I’m constantly in pain, and have frequent flare ups that can sometimes come on without any warning. I often can’t make plans in advance as I often have to cancel. Some days I struggle to get out of bed, and when I have a period, which I’m not supposed to, I’m bedridden until it is over.”

At John Radcliffe, Isobel was put on a maximum dosage of paracetamol, codeine and morphine but she said even that did not manage the pain. 

She added: “I was in hospital overnight, on morphine, but I asked to be discharged so I could recover from home.”

Isobel has been told she is unlikely to have children naturally. “I’m incredibly lucky that I have a very supportive fiancé who attends all my appointments with me and is incredibly understanding about how endo affects my life and our relationship.” she said. “We have already started the conversations about other options for children.”

Fiancé Brandon said: “I recently had my birthday and raised £170 for EndometriosisUK, as it’s an important charity for both of us.

“Some days the pain is so bad for her that I have to carry her up the stairs. It’s hard supporting someone with endometriosis, as I can feel so helpless not being able to take away her pain or make things better. I’m always so proud of Isobel, for the way she manages the pain and fights for changes to happen.”

Isobel added: “Raising awareness for endo is so so important as so little is known about it. I don’t remember being taught much about period or menstrual wellbeing at school, other than ‘periods happen’. 

“Endometriosis is just as common as diabetes and asthma yet incredibly ignored. It affects people so differently, and the perception around it needs to change. I hate the fact that I was ignored and suffered in pain for so long before finding my voice and making myself heard.”

Awareness needs to be raised so that young girls grow up knowing that their voice, and their health matters