Newlywed dismissed serious medical condition as ‘nerves,’ nearly died on her wedding day

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BOSTON — A Massachusetts woman nearly died on her wedding day after she initially assumed side effects caused by a serious medical condition were “nerves.”

Jill Hawkins married John during a ceremony back in September. She told WCVB she can remember waking up and feeling sick to her stomach.

“I just kind of thought, something feels a little weird, but it’s probably just nerves,” Hawkins said.

As a teen, Hawkins was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic disease of the large intestine that causes severe stomach pain. After several surgeries, Hawkins believed the condition was resolved. She had not been sick in several years.

As the day progressed, Hawkins could feel knots in her stomach pulling tighter.

“I was having a hard time standing up at that point,” Hawkins said. “In my mind, I just wanted to get down that aisle.”

Hawkins walked down the aisle and took photos with her wedding party after the ceremony, but soon after she was rushed to a hospital where she had emergency surgery.

Dr. James Yoo told WCVB she had a “twist” in her intestines that was cutting off blood supply to that part of the intestine.

Without treatment, she could have died, the doctor said. However, wedding jitters were not the cause.

“Nothing could have precipitated this,” he said. “I think it was just bad luck.”

According to WCVB, over 700,000 Americans suffer from ulcerative colitis.

“It’s really hard to come to terms with the fact that I could have died on my wedding night,” Hawkins said. “But that’s the reality.”