Yesterday, we had a great day at Anya’s favourite place, Washington Riding Centre for the Disabled. She completed a sponsored horse ride and loved every minute of it.

A little bit about Anya

Anya was born at 25 weeks, weighing 1lb 7oz. The very next day, she underwent surgery to create her first stoma. It was tiny, and her first stoma bag seemed huge on her! She then had an operation on her heart and laser eye surgery. We were told she might never walk because she had a small piece of her spine missing, or she might have medical complications due to being born so early.

She has always amazed us from day one and continues to do so now. Despite the early warnings, Anya learned to walk, run, and now, her passion is riding horses.

Her passion

Anya has always loved animals, especially horses. She couldn’t ride for many years due to the numerous surgeries she underwent and her early health struggles. On her 8th birthday, when things were finally settling down, we booked a horse-riding party for her, and she was smitten. We have been back to the stables every week since.

For Anya, it’s not just about riding the horses; she also loves caring for them. When we arrive at the yard, any worries and anxieties seem to float away.

Clothing and her stoma

Initially, we were concerned that jodhpurs and base layers, being tight, might lead to more stoma leaks or pancaking. However, we reinforce her Pelican bag with some flange extenders, and she wears boxer-type knickers. We always take a bag of supplies with us too.

We have spent hours mucking out, cleaning feed bowls, turning out horses, and riding — her bag has not let us down yet!

Falling off

Anya has had a couple of falls but wears a body protector. We check her stoma afterward for any bumps or bleeding, but it seems to have always been protected.

Overall, we had a great day yesterday, and she raised an amazing £340!! You can still follow your dreams and passions after stoma surgery.

Thank you for reading!

Amy, Anya’s Mum