Schmitz undergoes surgery to remove colon

by Trinity Gruenberg

trinity@inhnews.com

    Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in an affected person’s colon. 

    The disease can be debilitating and can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. Such was the case with John Schmitz of Hewitt. 

    John began feeling ill when he was 15 years old.

    “The doctors didn’t know what I had. They gave me steroids and I got better,” said John.

    He lost 40 pounds and received several different diagnoses before discovering it was UC.

    It is believed to be a type of autoimmune disease with no specific cause. There is no cure, but an affected person can go into remission for years and have no symptoms. John was in remission for over five years before it came back, with a vengeance around 2006. In May of 2010, John took a turn for the worse.

    “I remember that day. It was May 1. I was going on a girls’ weekend when John called and said, ‘I hurt.’ John is not one to say things like that. My brother got on the phone and said, ‘something is wrong with John, his belly is huge and he’s kind of out of it.’ I told him to take John to the hospital,” said Brandy, his wife...

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