Hi my name is Gary Webster I was born in 1955 into a working class family in South Yorkshire, England. At about 6 months old I began to have problems in the poo department ! I was unable to produce any, and my stomach became very swollen and extended. After many tests and examinations I was eventually diagnosed with HD which at that time was extremely rare, my parents were told to prepare for the worst.
I was subsequently seen by Professor Zachary of Sheffield Children's Hospital who at that time was considered to be the leading expert in this particular field. In an attempt to correct the problem he decided to operate, he told my parents that the operation was one of the first of its kind. He also told them that he was aware of only two other HD sufferers in the country one of whom had not survived.
It is only now after surfing the internet, finding this website and communicating with Gerry that I now believe that he was the other survivor !
My operation was carried out and luckily for me was completely successful. The procedure was closely scrutinised and subsequently reported on in medical journals.
After spending months in hospital I was finally given the all clear and allowed home. Shortly before this I had a full examination by Prof Zachary, this was carried out in a medical theatre in the presence of other doctors and a large number of medical students.
My parents were able to describe the scene to me and told me that as he turned me over and examined my rectum, the wind got the better of me and I promptly covered his crisp white surgical coat with large splashes of poo !!
Not being phased and wiping the poo from his face Prof Zachary turned to his audience and said “ Well gentleman as we can plainly see Gary seems to be well on the road to recovery ”.
After regular check ups in my childhood I went on to lead a perfectly normal life (well almost !). I was left with scars across and down my abdomen (which in my youth were referred to as “ my ladders ”). I also have scars to my ankles, wrists, and arms and a rather embarrassing one on my rectum which no one seems to know how it got there !.
I have been left with no real after effects other than regular visits to the toilet per day, excess wind, ( I was the undefeated schools farting champion !!) and regular bouts of IBS which I have learned to live with.
After leaving school I joined the Royal Navy and kept physically fit by taking up Boxing (much to the annoyance of my dear mother). I subsequently left the Navy and had a successful career as a Police Officer from which I am now retired. I have a wonderful wife of 31 years and two beautiful grown up daughters who have for all these years, put up with my excess wind and still have fits of giggles when I manage to exceed 10 decibels !!
I am 6ft 1in tall and weigh about 225lbs (said with tongue in cheek !), I eat and drink heartily but carefully, and I look forward to each new day. Life has been good to me, but I’ve always believed that life is what you make it, and I write this in the belief that I can give hope and inspiration to fellow sufferers and their loved ones, to overcome what at the time may seem like unfair odds.