Martial arts fighter battles back to fitness after 38 bowel surgeries
An inflammatory bowel disease sufferer has battled back to fitness and is in training to become a top MMA fighter - despite wearing a stoma bag
Kharina Kharran, from Brighton in East Sussex, trains in martial arts six times per week and has even entered cage fighting competitions.
But the 41-year-old has a colostomy bag permanently attached to her stomach.
Kharina became fascinated with martial arts at the age of nine after being inspired by Bruce Lee movies, but has struggled from the age of 11 with bowel disease.
She started training lightly aged 16, and has picked up a variety of martial arts – despite going through 38 bowel surgeries.
Diagnosed with ulceritis collitis at the age of 11 and a half, the bowel disease had progressed to Crohn’s by the age of 15.
The disease has caused holes to form in her bowel and rectum, and left her needing dozens of operations.
She says: ‘I got diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 11 and a half and by the age of 15 it developed in to Crohn’s disease as my bowels got more and more inflamed.
‘It started with excruciating pain. As soon as I ate anything it was painful. Even to drink water was excruciating.
‘There was always blood and mucus in my stool. I did not say anything to anyone but eventually told my Mum and she called an ambulance to take me straight to hospital.
‘I started doing Kung Fu and every time I have been unwell I set myself a goal to learn something new. Martial arts keeps me inspired and motivated.’