‘I just want to be like every other teenager’: Girl, 18, with a paralyzed digestive system describes grueling daily routine to keep her symptoms under control while at film school

Nancy Pickett moved to Orange, California, to pursue a film degree in college and be like every other teenager.

However, the 18-year-old’s life is far from normal.

She was diagnosed her sophomore year in high school with gastroparesis, a chronic illness that paralyzes her stomach and intestinal muscles.

It means she cannot consume food normally.

Instead, she has to get nutrition for her body through a feeding tube in her chest that goes straight to her bloodstream.

She has battled these symptoms for the last three years and spends on average one to two hours a day preparing her medication to help her function. 

But all she wants to do is be a normal student and pursue a career in film at college, even if that means spending weeks away from school in the hospital.

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