IMAGE DESCRIPTION: An image of someone with severe ME from our library of Real ME images (i.e Real people with ME/CFS). The title reads: Byline Times: ‘A Rollercoaster Of Awful Emotions’. The ME Association logo (bottom right).

Byline Times: ‘A Rollercoaster Of Awful Emotions’

**Trigger Warning – Contains upsetting content**

“I feel like I’m going to die”. These were the haunting words of 18-year-old Millie McAinsh, wrongly sectioned and left without care in an NHS hospital. Before autumn 2019, Millie was a healthy teenager. She loved the performing arts and was excited to attend sixth form and go to university. Then, what started out as a simple virus, became Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), and everything changed.

By Laura Elliot, Byline Times

Article extracts

Over the next four years, Millie went from being the “spontaneous and adventurous” person her family knew to being almost entirely bedridden and relying on them for her basic needs. By last December, Millie was too unwell to feed herself. In January, she was subsisting on a mainly liquid diet taken through a straw. When this became too difficult, she was admitted to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Millie’s family hoped it would be a brief stay, simply to have a feeding tube fitted that would allow her adequate nutrition, but she was instead placed under a deprivation of liberty safeguarding (DOLS) order. She was subsequently sectioned under the Mental Health Act. That decision was overturned by an emergency tribunal 12 days later…

Due to the severity of her condition, Millie is mostly non-verbal. But during a traumatic procedure in which a tube was wrongly inserted into her lung, she was heard to beg: “Take it [the tube] out. I don’t consent to being touched… I want the tummy [feeding] tube… I want my mummy to decide my medical decisions… I want to go home.” At the time of writing, no such tube has been fitted, although there are tentative plans for a procedure next week.

Millie’s family have launched a petition urging the medical team at Royal Lancaster Infirmary to abide by the NICE guidelines, fit Millie with an appropriate feeding tube, and allow her to come home.

Jane McNicholas, chief medical officer at University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, told Byline Times: “Due to the complexities of the case, it would be inappropriate for us to comment except to say that our teams are working hard with relevant specialists to provide the best possible care.”

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