South West Wales

Student Luke Bennett's colostomy bag selfie goes viral

Luke Bennett's selfie with his colostomy bag Image copyright Luke Bennett

A student from Swansea University has gone viral after a selfie he took with his colostomy bag was viewed by more than one million people online.

Luke Bennett, 20, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis four years ago - a form of inflammatory bowel disease.

After medication and steroids failed to improve his condition, he decided to undergo surgery six weeks ago.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales' Jason Mohammad programme, Mr Bennett said he wanted to help other people like him.

Talking about his decision to have surgery, he said: "It was very hard. It was quite a long process really.

"In my head I was thinking 'why am I going to wait until I'm really ill to go into surgery when it's inevitable?"

Image caption Luke was diagnosed when he was 16

Mr Bennett posted the picture on the Crohn's and Colitis UK Facebook page to show what "a normal person" looks like with a colostomy bag.

"If you have surgery there's nothing really to worry about... it does get better," he added.

Dan McClean, director of marketing at Crohn's and Colitis UK, described Luke as an "inspiration".

"We are currently seeing this inflammatory bowel disease being diagnosed in about 10,000 younger people a year," he said.

"To see Luke's story is very inspiring for a lot of people."

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