"A life-changing procedure gave Chelsea her life back"
Chelsea Holloway lived hereditary pancreatitis, a condition where the pancreas is inflamed, causing severe and debilitating pain.
Chelsea was diagnosed with this condition at just 11 years old. She recounts her experience below.
“If I were to describe pancreatitis in one word, that would be excruciating.
I was only 11 years old when I was diagnosed and told that there was nothing possible to fix the problem. I had to last with that thought for six years until I was 17.
My life for those six years was taking major pain killers including opioids to try and function as a healthy person. I was constantly missing out on school, work and spending time with friends because I was always unwell.
At 16 years old I was fortunate enough to meet Professor Toby Coates and we started the process for a Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Auto Transplantation (TP-IAT). It was a long procedure as they had to fly my pancreas to Melbourne to harvest my islet cells, then fly back and infuse them into my liver, curing me of pancreatitis.
The successful surgery has led to my life now.
Today, I’m 22 years old, I work full time and I play in the premier league netball squad. I can hang out with my friends and family as much as I want, and pancreatitis no longer dominates my life.
I’m never in pain and I’m completely saved by this surgery.
Pancreatitis in my family is unfortunately hereditary from my mum’s side. If Professor Coates (pictured with Chelsea) can support me and change my life as much as he has, I’m so excited to see what he can do for others in the future.
Now that the procedure can happen right here in Adelaide thanks to the support of THRF Group, it will be life-changing for so many people.
I was thrilled to be part of the unveiling of the Biospherix Chamber at the end of 2021 and look forward to hearing many more life-changing success stories.”