Emmerdale star Jeff Hordley has spoken publicly for the first time about his diagnosis and life with Crohns Disease.
Hordley admitted that while he started to suffer from symptoms of the disease from the age of 20, he wasn’t formerly diagnosed until he was 26 years old and about to graduate.
Speaking to the Daily Express, Hordley revealed: “He spotted the symptoms immediately. These include diarrhoea, stomach pain, severe tiredness and weight loss.”
He continued: “I was relieved to be diagnosed. I felt I could tackle it mentally. However my condition was advanced so the best course of action was to have part of my small and large bowel removed. Had I been diagnosed earlier, steroids might have stopped it progressing to this stage.
“This was a dark time. I was in my final year of drama school waiting to join the acting world but I was worried I would come out of the operation with a colostomy bag – a scary thing for a 26-year-old. Fortunately, my family and tutors were very supportive and the doctors were brilliant. They removed the narrowed segments of my bowel and joined the healthy parts on either side.”
Hordley’s has now got most of his symptoms under control and suffers very infrequent relapses.
“The fact I don’t need to keep running off to the bathroom means I can remain professional on the set of Emmerdale and get on with my life as normal,” he explained. “Crohn’s sufferers can find their condition embarrassing. Yet by being open with employers they might find simple things such as a desk near a bathroom can improve their lives.
“I run a lot and keeping fit has had a positive effect. My advice to anyone with Crohn’s is seek as much information as you can because you can live with it. With the right help, the bad periods will be outnumbered by the good ones.”
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