Zoey Wright who nearly died of an incurable bowel condition and now wears a colostomy bag has become a world champion bodybuilder.
Wright had her large intestine removed three years ago, but that didn’t stop her from being crowned number one at the Pure Elite World Championship.
Zoey Wright suffered chronic fatigue, extreme weight loss, and recurring diarrhoea for two years because of the condition Ulcerative Colitis, a painful condition caused by the inflammation of the rectum and colon. In November 2014, the 22-year-old made the life-changing decision to have ileostomy surgery.
Zoey Wright now a fitness instructor, vowed to become a competitive bodybuilder while being treated for her condition. The 25-year-old has since made a full recovery and last month realized her dream of taking home an international bodybuilding title.
She said: “I am stubborn and determined. I was lying in my hospital bed when I decided I was going to get on stage and compete as a bodybuilder.
I wanted to do something I’d never done before and something that seemed impossible to achieve.
Now I am in love with training and competing and the world title is a celebration of being healthy. I have achieved the impossible.”
Wright says she endured symptoms for several years, describing her younger self as a “typical teenage girl” who ignored warning signs.
“For a long time, I ignored painful stomach cramps and the fact that I was losing weight.
Doctors sent me for tests while I was in college and I spent a very traumatic month in the hospital.”
Doctors previously told Zoey that her body was shutting down as her white blood cells attacked the healthy lining of her bowel wall, making it ulcerated.
In 2012, her weight plummeted from 10st to 8st and she trialed various drugs in an attempt to treat the condition.
Two years later, Zoey, had her large intestine removed in a major operation and was fitted with a colostomy bag.
As her health improved, Zoey began incorporating more exercise into her routine. She has now taken part in three bodybuilding competitions.
Last month she won the ‘overall’ category at the Pure Elite World Championship in Margate, Kent, finishing one place better than she did at the event in 2016.
While preparing for the contest she focuses on intensive hour-and-a-half session six times a week and, despite still experiencing some symptoms, feels healthier than ever.
“Exercise is a daily routine like brushing your teeth in the morning.
When I’m preparing for a show I will do cardio before breakfast and then lift weights in the evening
I don’t spend hours in the gym per session because I don’t want to get bored of doing something I love.”