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Elgin woman denies false surgery claims, after community raised £16,000

Isla Evans has a serious illness which requires surgery only available in Germany
Isla Evans has a serious illness which requires surgery only available in Germany

A Moray mum with a rare illness has insisted she is still planning to have pioneering surgery in Germany after local supporters raised thousands of pounds for the trip.

Isla Evans suffers from a painful stomach disorder and gathered £16,000 in donations so she could fly to Duisburg for the procedure last month.

However, the operation did not go ahead due to what Mrs Evans described as “miscommunication” between herself and medical staff.

She claims she was led to believe the procedure would not be possible, and returned home to Elgin on that basis.

Professor Wilhelm Sandmann, the surgeon in Germany, last night described the situation as “very strange” and said there was no medical reason to postpone the surgery.

Local donors have questioned what will happen to the money pledged for the treatment, but Mrs Evans insisted the £16,000 was being kept until she is well enough to go through with the surgery.

The 31-year-old said: “The money is still in the account I set up for it.

“I still intend to return to Germany for the operation.

“This has been so hard for me, I wouldn’t have gone through with everything and travelled to Germany to decide against surgery.”

Professor Sandmann said: “Mrs Evans left the hospital on that particular Friday to pass a night or two with her husband in a hotel before the scheduled surgery, which was understood from our side.

“But then there was a message the next day to my computer to tell me that she had left because her heart was too weak to undergo the proposed surgical procedure.

“Nobody here had stated that there is cardiac illness which does not allow surgery.”

The mum-of-two has had superior mesenteric artery syndrome (SMAS) since she was 10, but says she was misdiagnosed as anorexic for 20 years.

The illness causes an artery to obstruct her intestine and makes eating painful.

Mrs Evans said local medics now planned to implant a feeding tube directly into her stomach to help build her strength for a future surgical appointment.

“This seems to be the way to go so that I can go to Germany to get the artery sorted,” she added.

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