Diagnosed with Rare Addison's Disease

Friday, 16 August 2013
The year 2013 didn’t get off to a good start for Julie Rogers. One hour into the new year, Mrs Rogers had the first of three trips to hospital to deal with her rare Addison’s disease. Only one in 100,000 people has the disease in which the adrenal glands don’t produce the steroid hormone cortisol. This leaves sufferers with low immunity. “The slightest thing can set it off,” Mrs Rogers said.

Her first visit to Portland District Health this year was to deal with kidney failure and liver/oesophagus infection; the second was for pneumonia where PDH surgeon Mr Thair Abbas conducted tests which found she was suffering renal compromise and reflux oesophagitis that was not responding to years of medical treatment.

His treatment for the diagnosis was surgery in the form of a crucial repair operation that was needed to close a section of her stomach and oesophagus. After referral to a specialist in Melbourne confirmed the diagnosis and recommended treatment, Mrs Rogers was admitted for surgery at PDH.

It was a complicated procedure made more difficult with her kidneys failing during the surgery, but Mrs Rogers emerged with a successful outcome.

“The theatre team made me feel comfortable and relaxed. They were all very bright, bubbly and attentive to me, like I was the only patient in the hospital, and Mr Abbas is a brilliant surgeon who is very easy to talk to,” she said.

After the operation Mrs Rogers spent two days in acute care before being moved to a private ward. “The nursing staff made me feel very comfortable and I had such professional care the whole way through,” she said.

Mrs Rogers remains on a pureed food diet but will soon start adding solid foods. “With Mr Abbas guidance I am making a full recovery and am feeling better than before,” she said.

 “We have a perfectly good hospital here in Portland and local people need to use it,” she said. “I had heard stories about the Portland hospital but on this occasion I received the best care you could possibly have. I recommend that people who need surgery use our hospital rather than go out of town.”

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