That the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease eluded this girl’s doctors for eight years is far more remarkable than her diagnosing herself thanks to histological evidence she uncovered while in Biomedical Problems class (must be nice to have access to such a course as a high-schooler). Still, this is a hell of a story.
For eight years, Jessica Terry suffered from stomach pain so horrible, it brought her to her knees. The pain, along with diarrhea, vomiting and fever, made her so sick, she lost weight and often had to miss school.
Her doctors, no matter how hard they tried, couldn’t figure out the cause of Jessica’s abdominal distress.
Then one day in January, Terry, 18, figured it out on her own.
In her Advanced Placement high school science class, she was looking under the microscope at slides of her own intestinal tissue — slides her pathologist had said were completely normal — and spotted an area of inflamed tissue called a granuloma, a clear indication that she had Crohn’s disease.
You can watch her talk about her experiences in this video.