Gosia Kępińska was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 9. The doctors managed to remove the tumour, but they severely damaged her eyesight and part of the brain responsible for repletion.
She says the constant feeling of hunger ruined 13 years of her life. She never felt full, no matter how much she ate. It was a side effect of the surgery she had undergone as a child. She was like a drug addict – she would do whatever it took to get food. Gosia’s mother had to lock the kitchen and she would never leave her 22-year-old daughter unsupervised.
I can’t take this any more. I don’t go to school, I have no friends. It’s just me and the hunger. I spend most of the time at home, alone. I even tried to kill myself. I can’t handle it, it’s like an obsession I can’t control, said Gosia a few months ago.
There was an experimental procedure that could help her, but it was very expensive. Gosia and her family organised a fund-raiser and luckily, thanks to many generous people, they managed to finance the surgery.
In February she underwent a complex procedure of implanting an electrode into her brain. It was supposed to send electrical signals to the overactive region of her brain and regulate the feeling of hunger.
I had mixed feelings before my daughter’s surgery. I was very grateful to all the people that helped us raise the money and felt excited for Gosia’s new chapter in life. On the other hand, I was scared that something might go wrong, says Anna Kępińska, mother of the 22-year-old.
Gosia wasn’t scared at all. She had been waiting for the surgery for years. She already felt a difference when she woke up the next day – she wasn’t hungry, for the first time since she could remember.
Now, after a few months, she can finally lead a normal life. She was devoting 100% of her attention to hunger. Now, she says, it is about 20%, like any average person.
I feel free. I’m not scared any more that the hunger will come back. I was gaining more and more weight and, most of all, I was very lonely. It became unbearable. I finally feel alive, says Gosia.
Gosia is now gradually getting better. She exercises and slowly loses the extra weight. She can now learn how to lead a normal, adult life.
For video and more (in Polish) see the TVN website.