Real life: ‘My 48J boobs keep me housebound’
When Fiona Hornby gave birth to her son William last July, she was too scared to breastfeed him for fear of crushing him, because of the size and weight of her bust
Fiona, 25, suffers from macromastia, a condition that means she possesses an abnormal amount of breast tissue – it also means her breasts are constantly growing.
She explains, “Since I hit puberty aged 10, my boobs have grown roughly a cup size every year, and they’re still getting bigger. I struggle to find bras big enough, and find it hard to walk more than a few paces without my back hurting because of their weight. At the moment, the pain means I’m housebound.”
The mum of one is desperate to have a breast reduction before her son starts walking. She says, “It’s not covered on the NHS, so I’m trying to crowdfund, as I’m at my wits’ end. I don’t know what I’ll do once William starts walking, as I won’t be able to keep up with him. At the moment, I can’t even hug him properly, as my boobs are in the way.”
Fiona – who lives in Bolton with her partner Billy, a recruitment consultant – started puberty at the age of 10, and the first time she was measured for a bra at the age of 12, she was a C cup.
She says, “By the time I was 15, my boobs were an F cup and, at 18, a G cup. I always had to wear a bra to support the weight, and I couldn’t wear little dresses like my friends did. It really affected my confidence.”
In 2015, when she began suffering from severe back pain, Fiona went to the doctors and was diagnosed with macromastia.
She says, “I thought I’d be offered a reduction, but it’s not covered on the NHS in my area. So now I’m saving up for the £6,500 operation. I’m trying to be positive, but it’s hard. I can’t work because I’m in too much pain, and I can’t be on my feet for long. It worries me how big they’ll get.
“People just think I’m fat but, even if I lose weight, it doesn’t make any difference. I’ve lost a stone from dieting in the last month, but it doesn’t come off my chest. At the moment, they weigh about 4kg each, so they’re really heavy. Over the past two years, I’ve also developed painful sores and boils across my chest, which doctors say are linked to the condition.
“When I’m in bed, it’s like I’m suffocating, but I can’t lie on my front because they’re too heavy, so I don’t sleep well.”
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