Tracy S’s Story of FMT for C. diff


Where do you live?

Peoria, Illinois, USA

How old are you?

48

What percentage recovered are you?

90%

What was your diagnosis and what treatments did you try before FMT?

I was diagnosed with Clostridium difficile (C.diff) after taking antibiotics for strep throat. I took vanco for 2 years on and off. I had 7 relapses before FMT.

When did you have your first and last FMT treatment?

I only had one FMT, it was on July 3, 2014

How many FMT treatments did you need to see initial results and the results you have today?
I only had one FMT. It took quite a few months to see much of a difference, at about 6 months I knew it worked. I still have bad days, but they are few and far between.

Does your condition still need maintenance eg diet, supplements, medication etc to keep it in remission?

I was and continue to be gluten free. I have since tried to eliminate all dairy except for the medically necessary ice cream J

How and when did you first hear of FMT?

I first heard from a C.diff website on the internet.

What factors did you take into account when deciding to do FMT?

After 7 relapses I was too sick and tired to even think it was gross, I was ready and willing to try anything at that point.

What did your doctor/s say?

My gastroenterologist told me of a trial study in his office. He wouldn’t recommend it at first; we tried vanco until I was at the end of my rope.

What criteria did you use to choose a donor?

They had a pre-screened, anonymous donor.

What was your FMT experience like?

The FMT was delivered via colonoscopy.

What was your darkest moment when you were ill?

I was too ill to leave the house. I couldn’t be more than a few feet from a bathroom, and even at that, there a few times I couldn’t make it to the bathroom.

What sustained you throughout?

My kids were my saving grace, if I didn’t know they needed me I most likely wouldn’t be here to share this success story.

What are the top 3 things you most enjoy about your post-FMT life?

  1. I can go out of the house!
  2. I can visit with family
  3. I can actually go for a walk outside!

What advice do you have for others to deal with the fear and (perceived) risk about FMT, in the face of scepticism from treating doctors, friends and family?

If you have C. diff, it will give you your life back. Once you have relapsed a few times from C. diff, the FMT made all the difference.  There is hope. No one can understand until they walk in your shoes. Other survivors will support you and will always understand. We all poop. It’s a part of life. If it can save you, why wouldn’t you try it? If others don’t want to believe, keep it to yourself. Someone had to first believe in antibiotics, and chemo, and now FMT. This journey is yours, and your alone. Follow your heart. If you know its right for you to do, then go for it!

What advice do you have for someone trying to make a decision about FMT?

It can’t hurt, it can only help. It can save your life. C. diff is a nasty beast. It starts to work soon after. Be patient. It may not seem like it worked. The damage took awhile to happen; it will take time to heal as well. 

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