Man unable to hold down job as rare illness makes him vomit up to 10 times an hour

Ryan Lewis has cyclical vomiting syndrome (CVS) which is a disorder stemming from incorrect signals communicated between the brain and the gut

Ryan has attempted four jobs in the last six months

A 22-year-old man has lost four jobs in the last six months due to a rare illness which causes him to vomit up to 10 times an hour.

Ryan Lewis, from Sheffield, South Yorks., has cyclical vomiting syndrome (CVS), a disorder stemming from incorrect signals communicated between the brain and the gut.

Symptoms of the rare chronic illness are likened to a full body allergic reaction, causing intense abdominal pain, cold sweats and constant vomiting at the rate of up to 10 times an hour.

Speaking of the debilitating illness, Ryan has told of how it has made it difficult to keep anything down, even a glass of water.

“You become extremely dehydrated and then you start throwing up bile and blood because you know, there’s just nothing left,” he said.

Ryan Lewis with girlfriend Phoebe Featherstone


Ryan Lewis/SWNS)

Ryan pictured during a stint in hospital


Ryan Lewis/SWNS)

“The abdominal pain leaves you decrepit and literally immobilized.”

He’s attempted four jobs in the last six months; a kitchen porter, a supervising sales assistant, a customer service job and as front of house staff at a restaurant.

But his condition makes it impossible to hold down a full-time job.

On the first day of both his front of house and customer service job, he had to be hospitalized for three weeks.

He said: “The mental effects of this are the most intense I’ve ever experienced

“I’m basically bed bound. I don’t go out, I don’t do anything. I’m probably the most sociable person you’ll ever meet and I hate being in the house.

“I feel like I’m locked down again, in my bed with a sick bucket next to me and pain meditation music on YouTube.”

Ryan says he’s ‘basically bed bound’ due to the physical and mental effects of his illness


Ryan Lewis/SWNS)

Ryan says he’s faced struggles with the healthcare system


Ryan Lewis/SWNS)

Ryan has gained great support from Facebook groups dedicated to the chronic illness, but also stressed the struggle he has faced within the healthcare system.

When his symptoms began his doctor correctly diagnosed him with CVS, but then the diagnosis was incorrectly changed, leaving Mr Lewis in limbo for months.

“There’s been constant medical negligence,” he said.

“I had a nurse discharge telling me that it was all my fault and that I was taking up beds for patients that needed it, and to stop coming up to the hospital.

“Another time, I asked to go to the communal garden to sit in the sun. The nurse told me that ‘this isn’t a hotel’ and to go back to my bed, even though I was physically fine at the time.”

Ryan has been in hospital seven times over the last six months, and was even admitted to hospital on his 22nd birthday.

He said: “When I came out, I’m not shy to say that I had a mental breakdown. It was a really low point in my life.

“I didn’t know whether I’d be able to hold on to a job, I had no money. I’m on universal credit but that’s going to pause soon because I need a sick note and it won’t be provided by my GP.”

However, this incident inspired Mr Lewis to take matters into his own hands and set up a GoFundMe page to help him get specialist treatment.

He said: “I just had this profound realization that if no one’s going to help me I’m gonna have to do it myself.”

The fundraiser had an initial target of £400 when it was set up five days ago, but it now stands at over £1700.

He will use all the money raised for treatment, and intends to match the raised funds in the future to donate to charity.

Ryan, who is currently self-employed as an online tutor, is hoping to study medicine next year in Edinburgh, Newcastle or Oxford.

He said: “Something has definitely come from this and it’s lit a fire in my belly to do something.

“I’ve had an absolute wave of messages and support, but also questions being asked by parents kids who have this and have been fobbed off as having nervous stomachs or IBS

“My story is not just my story, it’s everyone’s who is in the same difficult position.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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