WORLD OSTOMY DAY
Len Johnston has been an ostomate for the last 11 years. It’s the reason he is still alive. An ostomy is a surgical procedure that has been performed at least since the 17th century. It creates an opening in the abdominal wall so waste products can move out of the body as a result of typically bladder, bowel or rectal cancer.
Diagnosed with bowel cancer, the radiation treatment resulted in Len losing muscle tone in his lower pelvis.
‘‘I couldn’t hold anything in. Going to the toilet, I’d sit for three quarters of an hour.’’
President of the Manawatu Ostomy Society, Len wants to make its resources more widely known to those who have undergone the procedure.
‘‘We’re there to help new ostomates. When people come out of hospital they go through a lot of changes. There are a lot of things to get used to.
The society is marking world Ostomy Day on October 3 with a gathering at the Esplanade Cafe from 10am.
There are between 5500 and 6000 people who have ostomies in New Zealand, and anyone who wants to find out more about the lifesaving procedure is welcome along, or can give Len a call on 021 101 6346 or 357 5799.