Supporters raise £10k to fund woman's breast reduction

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image copyrightKelly Michaud
image captionKelly Michaud said as well as physical discomfort, her large breasts had caused her mental distress

A woman with size H breasts says she is "over the moon" she can undergo a reduction after supporters donated over £10,000 to pay for the surgery.

Mother-of-two Kelly Michaud has acute back pain and cannot breastfeed her newborn due to the size of her chest.

The 26-year-old, from Harrogate, began fundraising for surgery after she was unable to get it on the NHS.

She said any money left over would be donated to other women who were desperate for a breast reduction.

Within a week of setting up the crowdfunding page, Mrs Michaud has raised the £7,000 needed to get her breasts reduced six sizes to a 34 DD.

"Honestly, the difference this will make to my life is huge," she said.

image copyrightKelly Michaud
image captionMrs Michaud has spent hundreds of pounds on bras, but is unable to find one which is comfortable

"Not only the physical side of things, but my boobs have had such a big impact on my mental health and at times I've been so down.

"Everyone thinks having big breasts is great, that it's what every woman dreams of, but the reality is very different.

"I have to wear a bra in bed and I get really painful sores and marks on my chest and shoulders from where the bra is digging in."

Breast reduction a 'postcode lottery'

Mrs Michaud was unable to get a breast reduction on the NHS because it is not "routinely commissioned" by her local Clinical Commissioning Group.

The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) said the NHS does allow some women to have the surgery based on clinical need, but it was a "postcode lottery".

Ruth Waters, consultant plastic surgeon and BAPRAS president, said many women ended up going through a long process of trying to get a reduction, only to be turned down or be at the end of a long waiting list.

"The current Covid situation will definitely exacerbate this," she added.

"It is unfortunate this is the case as the value of the operation in eliminating the physical and psychological distress is well-documented.

"Women with very large breasts also find it is difficult to self-examine for breast lumps and so may present late with breast cancer."

image copyrightLyndsey Nurse
image captionLyndsey Nurse said the weight of her breasts made her asthma worse

'My breasts weigh same as 14 bags of sugar'

Since starting the appeal, Mrs Michaud said she had been contacted by dozens of other women who are going through the same thing.

Lyndsey Nurse said she understood all too well Mrs Michaud's struggle. With 36 K breasts, her chest weighs 2st (13kg), the equivalent of 14 bags of sugar.

The 35-year-old, from Swindon, said she hardly left the house because finding a comfortable bra to wear for more than a couple of hours was impossible.

Ms Nurse, who is asthmatic, said the weight of her breasts made her breathing worse and she had to wash her chest and apply talcum powder several times a day to ease the discomfort.

Also suffering chronic back pain because of the size of her breasts, she has spent thousands of pounds over the years paying for chiropractor treatment.

image copyrightLyndsey Nurse
image captionMs Nurse said it was unfair women with large breasts had to pay up to £50 for a bra

"I've had to stop going to the gym because I don't want to get two black eyes. You cannot buy a sports bra for someone of my size," she said.

"Obviously as you get older, gravity takes over so, to me, they look horrible and I feel so unfeminine.

"I'm a size 12 to 14, but they make me look bigger and I feel really frumpy and I can't get clothes to fit me properly."

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