Body image is the most compelling reason why most of us opt to have an ileal pouch. So someone who not only chooses to have an ileostomy but is brave enough to flaunt her stoma-bag in front of hundreds of people as a world champion bodybuilder is truly unique.

After several painful spells of ulcerative colitis, Falmouth-based Zoey Wright had an ileostomy and then took up bodybuilding to improve her fitness and to help regain her strength. Then in November 2017 the 26-year-old was crowned Overall World Champion Bodybuilder in the Pro Elite bodybuilding championships in the UK.

“I chose to step on stage, despite my stoma-bag, to prove to myself and others that the impossible is possible and ever since it’s been my mission to face new challenges and defeat the odds,” said Zoey who since winning her title has become the face of USN, the leading sports nutrition brand.

“When I saw my surgeon after the ileostomy he asked if I wanted to have a J-pouch fitted and I said I am fine –  I’m actually enjoying my life with a stoma-bag and it has caused me no issues whatsoever,” she said.

However after winning her world title, Zoey started having problems in her pelvic area “so I spoke to my surgeon and said I had changed my mind about having J-pouch surgery,” she said.

The Cornish athlete is now due to have the first stage of her two-stage J-pouch operation at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, in the next few months.