Amy Murphy’s body was "attacked her from the inside out" (Image: Amy Murphy / Liverpool Echo)
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A woman who was in suffering from a devastating disease which "attacked her from the inside out" was mistakenly diagnosed with Covid-19 twice.
Amy Murphy of Huyton, Liverpool, noticed symptoms in April 2019 but because they came and went she decided not "to bother doctors".
But by the time she was admitted to hospital she was suffering from stomach pains, had blood in her urine, bruises on her face and lost clumps of hair.
Amy, 34, told the Liverpool Echo : "In Easter time, 2019, I had terrible cramps and I was going to the toilet and I noticed blood, but I didn't go to the doctors.
"It must have been a flare up because after a few days it stopped happening. So then I kind of ignored it.
In the end the mum-of-one was admitted to hospital where they told her she was suffering from Ulcerative Colitis
(Image: Amy Murphy / Liverpool Echo)
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"But it happened again a few months later and then it stopped again. I didn't go to the doctors, I didn't even tell them.
"I'm not scared of going to the doctors, but I also don't want to bother them. Because it started and stopped and I didn't feel unwell, really, I just thought it was fatigue."
But by Christmas Eve she was in a terrible state she took herself to hospital.
She was sent home with the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome and even managed to make a full Christmas meal for the whole family.
Her symptoms worsened dramatically and by December 29, she said she couldn't walk.
Amy Murphy started suffering from breathing problems and she was diagnosed with Covid-19 twice
(Image: Amy Murphy / Liverpool Echo)
She then spent the next four weeks in hospital, before she was finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and was given drugs.
Ulcerative Colitis is inflammation of the lower end of the digestive system, including the large bowel and rectum, and it can require surgery in severe cases.
The mum-of-one said: "My body was just attacking itself and causing inflammation."
"I was days away from having surgery, but luckily my body began to respond to the drugs.
Amy was sent home but things didn't stay positive for long, she added: "Then I began to lose clumps of hair. Peeing blood. Unknown bruising all over face. Blisters on arms and hands. Then the breathing difficulties started."
In April Amy said she was breathless, which resulted in an incorrect coronavirus diagnosis.
She said: "My breathing got so bad that I was rushed to A&E and I was kept in for five days and was told it was Covid.
"It turned out I was having an adverse reaction to the bowel drugs and immunosuppressants.
"I was incorrectly treated for Covid-19, twice. On my third admission to hospital, I was put in infections diseases ward in the Royal, on a CPAP machine.
"It was not Covid, it was pneumonitis brought on by my bowel drugs/and or/immunosuppressants."
In June she experienced the "worst flare up" and Amy wanted surgery because "she couldn't live with the pain any more."
Amy now lives with an ileostomy bag, her health has now improved and she's not facing painful symptoms as frequently any more.
She said she had heard of Crohn's disease before, but wasn't as familiar with colitis, and she said she hopes to raise more awareness about UC, symptoms and how to spot it.
She said: "You should never ignore blood, as I did. I would advise anyone to go and get checked out."