About Kaitlyn - Uncover Ostomy
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Kaitlyn O’Brien was born with birth defects that affected her ability to function as a normal girl. Within the first few days of life, she was given a colostomy bag to reroute her intestines, as she had no anus. Over the following months, Kaitlyn underwent additional surgeries to give her a Gastrostomy (feeding tube directly into the stomach) so that she could properly ingest nutrients.


A year later, Kaitlyn was also diagnosed with VACTREAL Syndrome, where each letter stands for a unique birth abnormality that she had already overcome or was going to face in the future:


  • Vertebral
  • Anal atresia
  • Cardiac defects
  • Tacheal-Esophageal
  • Renal
  • Limbs


In the course of her young life, Kaitlyn has had pretty much every type of ostomy that anyone could ever need. 


Kaitlyn joined Uncover Ostomy as a contributor in October 2016 to share stories of her journey, as well as her future, with us. She is living life to the fullest as a student in Health Sciences at York University, by running half-marathons, and enjoying life as a young woman.

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Kaitlyn’s photography by Mark Smith Photography