A teenager who suffers from a rare syndrome has revealed that she can’t have sex without dislocating her hip.
Darcey Kelly, 19, has Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – a condition which mutates her collagen, meaning her joints are especially loose and regularly slip out of place, reports The Mirror.
The teenager’s joints can dislocate up to 20 times a day and the first year English student has to have a liquid diet – to avoid her jaw locking – and struggles to open bottles without dislocating her wrist.
However, her most embarrassing moment was the first time she had sex with her boyfriend – and her hip popped out of its socket.
I was trying to go for it and then all of a sudden I heard a loud crack. He didn’t hear it but he saw I had this contorted face of pain like I looked really disgusted.
I didn’t want to hurt his ego so said ‘um can you give me a minute’ and I hobbled over to the bathroom to pop it back in. And then we went back to it.
Although the illness is hereditary – also affecting her siblings – Darcey has the worst of it.
Her sister is a circus performer and has just broken the world record for the furthest distance shooting a balloon using her feet and her brother is a stuntman.
However, Darcey fears that she’ll struggle to hold down a full time job when she leaves university and has been told that her life expectancy could be limited to between 35 and 40-years-old.
But she remains incredibly positive despite her illness:
There was a time I was telling my friends about how I dislocated something and I was laughing so hard about it that I dislocated my jaw.
You have to joke, it’s so much easier.
But people don’t always understand her condition. Last year she was visiting a hospital with her mum when a woman shouted at her for parking in a disabled bay.
“This woman called me out and said that I’m not disabled and I’m a disgusting person,” said Darcey. “It’s happened quite a few times and I feel like people need to understand invisible illnesses.”
Darcey is speaking out about her disease to raise awareness about illnesses – like hers – that are not always obvious to other people.
If you or someone you know is affected by Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – or for more information – you can visit Ehlers-Danlos Support UK.