Model Shares Her Struggles With Lymphoedema To Help Other Sufferers
Featured image credit: Caters
A former model with an incurable condition that leaves one of her legs so swollen she is forced to spend hours each day bandaging it has shared her story through a blog to let other suffers know they aren't alone.
Sarah Buller, a former Perth resident and mother of two, has primary lymphoedema. The condition causes swelling and excess fluid in her body's tissue, with the leg weighing two stone.
The 31-year-old shared her story through The Lymphosaurus Rex, which is a blog she began writing in order to raise awareness about treatments and to help other sufferers cope with the condition.
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The condition was triggered by her first pregnancy three years ago when her left leg started to balloon, becoming 'double in size' after only three months.
Talking about the condition, she said: "It was like one day I went to bed with two normal legs and the next morning I woke up and had one huge leg in comparison.
"I was so shocked but doctors did tests and nothing showed up so I guess we all just hoped the swelling would go down after I gave birth.
"But the bigger my bump got the bigger my leg got, too, and it just never went back."
Not long after she gave birth, Ms Buller, who now lives in Nice, France with her husband Bruce and two children, was diagnosed with primary lymphoedema.
The condition is the result of an impaired lymphatic system that causes the fluid in the tissue to build up and swelling to occur.
Speaking about her initial diagnosis, she said: "I felt so isolated and alone. Instead of enjoying precious moments with my new baby girl, I was having to bandage my leg constantly to try and reduce the swelling."
However, in May she underwent Vascularised Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT) surgery that saw doctors take healthy lymph nodes from her armpits to insert in her leg.
The surgery cost £13,000 and, although it is supposed to take a year to have an effect, Ms Buller said she had seen significant changes already.
Here's hoping she'll have a speedy recovery and that others suffering from the condition now know they aren't alone.
Words by James Dawson