A WOMAN who nearly died from a chronic condition is campaigning to raise awareness and calling for earlier detection.

Carla Cressy, from Leigh, was just 25 years old when she was rushed to hospital with excruciating pain.

It was discovered her organs had fused together and two and a half litres of poison had to be drained from her body.

Carla was diagnosed with endometriosis and endured several operations.

Carla’s successful modelling career was cut short as a result, and more recently she was told she will need to have a hysterectomy.

Carla, now 28, campaigns for more awareness on the debilitating condition and founded her own charity – The Endometriosis Foundation.

She said: “Between the ages of 14 to 16, I saw my GP every time I had my period and this continued until I was diagnosed.

“I was under the care of gynaecology from just 14 with every symptom of endometriosis.

“My periods were so painful, I would often vomit and black out from the pain.

“Almost every doctor I saw told me it’s just a period and to just get on with it.

“Once I bled for over 21 days straight and my GP questioned me like I was making it up, but I couldn’t stand up without seeing stars.

“Most women I meet have to really fight to be understood ,which is just not right, especially with early detection playing such a crucial part.”

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

The tissue sheds in the same way that blood does during the menstrual cycle, but has nowhere to escape to, causing inflammation, pain, and a build-up of scar tissue.

Symptoms of the condition include painful, heavy or irregular periods, pelvic pain, painful bowel movements or pain when urinating, pain during or after sex, difficulty getting pregnant, and fatigue.

Dozens of women in Southend suffer from the chronic condition and charity, Endometriosis UK, is now calling on the NHS to “wake up” to the scale of the condition.

Figures have revealed that 35 women were admitted to Southend Hospital last year with a diagnosis of endometriosis. Of that, 29 per cent were emergency cases.

Carla has been setting up support groups around the UK and visiting schools to give talks – including her former school, Shoebury High School.

She added: “I feel as a young woman myself, younger girls will benefit from hearing my story, along with other members of The Endometriosis Foundation, knowing that some of our symptoms started at their age.”