Woman, 37, weighing just 3 stone ‘starving to death’ as ​​eating causes agony



Nicolette Baker, from Truro, Cornwall, has never been able to properly start her life due to the horrific condition which means she can’t eat without incredible pain

A woman who is literally ‘starving to death’ with a rare condition needs a final £10,000 before she can undergo treatment to save her life.

Nicolette Baker was diagnosed with Superior Mesenteric Artery syndrome (SMAS) nearly a decade ago – a condition which means that her Superior Mesenteric artery is compressing on her duodenum and kidney -causing her unimaginable pain when she tries to eat.

A 37-year-old says eating something as small as a jelly baby feels like she’s ‘finished off a Christmas dinner’ and makes her intestine feel like it’s ‘going to burst’.

Over the years she had been misdiagnosed as anorexic and even force-fed, as her weight has dwindled to a terrifying 3st.

In March last year doctors told her she had ‘days to live’, meaning they would only offer her palliative care.




But defiant Nicolette wants to live and has already raised £70,000 towards £80,000 for surgery in Germany to relieve the pressure and pain her artery is causing.

Nicolette said: “The surgery is booked but I need to pay for the weeks I’ll be spending in intensive care afterwards because my health is so poor.

“There’s only two weeks to go I’m really determined to keep going.

“I used to think if I’m going to die I’m going to die but things have changed. Now I’ve actually been told I’m dying I don’t just want to surrender to that, I want to live and give something back to society.”

After being given days to live Nicolette became determined to defy doctors’ predictions and earlier this month set up a GoFundMe where she opened up about how she is ‘literally starving to death’.



Greg Martin/Cornwall Live)

Although Nicolette only received her diagnosis seven years ago, doctors believe she was born with the condition.

Nicolette can recall having issues with her digestive system from as young as four years old, but it wasn’t until her late 20s that she would understand what was happening to her.

She said: “Eating a jelly baby feels like I’ve finished off a full Christmas dinner.

“As that jelly baby passes through my intestine the pain is incredible. It feels like a hose pipe with a blockage in it to the point where it is going to burst.

She added: “I remember throwing up liquid milk at four years old.

“I was just labeled as anorexic but when I eat it causes me so much pain.



Greg Martin/Cornwall Live)

“The less I ate the less pain I’d have so I ended up losing quite a bit of weight and it was deemed to be a mental health problem.

“I was an inpatient at hospitals for years and I was force fed which only made the problem worse and caused me even more pain.

The condition has completely robbed Nicolette of her life – she has been unable to start a family, have a career and was even forced to give up her beloved 10-year-old whippet, Eden.

She said: “I have always dreamed of my prince charming coming on a white horse but I don’t think that will happen. I had to give up my beloved dog because I couldn’t manage him anymore.

“The first thing I will do when I’ve had the surgery is to get him back.”

Before her health declined, Nicolette had worked part time in a hospice, until she could no longer even manage that – meaning she has no savings of her own to fall back on.



Greg Martin/Cornwall Live)

Now, as the condition holds her on the brink of death, it is a race against time to raise the final £10,000 needed so she has secured her follow up treatment after her surgery on February 24.

She said “It would mean everything to raise the last £10,000 I need so I don’t have that pressure hanging over me.

“I’m struggling with my breathing, my whole system is shutting down one by one.

“I’m desperate to make it through just so I can thank all the people who have so generously helped me get to this point.”

Nicolette will fly out on February 14 for preliminary scans ahead of the surgery at the end of the month.

To donate click here.


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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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