Burnley striker Jon Walters shares colonoscopy experience to raise cancer awareness in bid to save lives

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‘Monstrous disease’

The Republic of Ireland striker’s mum passed away, aged 40 from bowel cancer and Walters has regular check ups

Jon Walters shared his colonoscopy experience on social media in a bid to save lives.

The Burnley striker, who is on loan at Ipswich, was just 11 years old when his mum, Helen, died at the age of 40 due to bowel cancer.

Jon Walters has been capped 54 times by the Republic of Ireland

Jon Walters has been capped 54 times by the Republic of Ireland

He has undergone regular checks for abnormalities ever since – and his colonoscopy procedure involved a 12,000 ft tube, an hour on the toilet and a joke to his doctor.

Walters, 35, told his 84,000 Twitter followers: “Yesterday I went for a colonoscopy. My mum, Helen passed away aged 40 of bowel cancer and because of her age I need to be checked regularly for any abnormalities of my bowel.

“To raise awareness of this monstrous disease I’m going to share my experience. Firstly, I spoke with the club doctor and arranged to meet Dr M, a specialist in this procedure.

“He explained the process which went in one ear and out the other, mainly because all I heard was how he was going to stick a tube, 12,000ft up my backside.

Jon Walters is sidelined with an achilles injury

Jon Walters is sidelined with an achilles injury

“I left the hospital with a powdered solution called ‘MoviPrep’. In itself this sounds quite innocuous but trust me when I say it’s one of the worst inventions known to man or woman. I left his office knowing I had a month or so before the procedure.

“The day before the colonoscopy I followed the instructions explaining what I should and shouldn’t eat, but all I could think about was the 12,000ft tube that was looming the next day. I stopped eating at 9pm and mentally prepared for what was coming.”

Walters continued: “The next morning I made my first solution of MoviPrep. I mixed two sachets of powder with one litre of water and this took 1hr30 to drink.

“The reason it takes so long and what no one tells you is that it tastes like orange flavour cat urine mixed with toilet cleaner.

“MoviPrep is a laxative so you are advised to ‘stay near a toilet’. To be more accurate it should tell you to stay on the toilet as you will experience what can only be described as a nuclear bomb going off in your stomach.

Jon Walters is on loan at Ipswich from Burnley

Jon Walters is on loan at Ipswich from Burnley

“This human waterfall goes on for an hour or so until your bowels are completely and utterly emptied. You’re so relieved when it’s all over UNTIL you then realise you’ve got to make up another solution of MoviPrep and do it all over again.

“Now that I was 10kg lighter, I had the small issue of a 45-minute drive to the hospital in Manchester. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem but I’ve now had two litres of nuclear laxative and I’m struggling to walk 12 yards to the toilet.

“The father in law volunteered to drive me. I didn’t explain the morning that I’ve had to him and that I contemplated buying some sort of adult nappy or bringing a waterproof coat for him in case another explosion went off.”

Thankfully, the Republic of Ireland international made it to the hospital without any trouble.

He said: “We managed to complete the journey without any incidents and went through to the ward to prepare for the tube and film crew who were going to have a look up my backside. Once the hospital gown was on I was ready to go.

“Now in the room I was having a nervous look around for the 12,000ft tube and decided they must bring it in after the anaesthesiologist works his magic.

“I then witnessed a 20-minute journey through my bowels on a TV screen and asked Dr M the most serious question of all, ‘Did he find my head up there as I’ve been told on many occasions that’s where it’s at?’”

Walters was then given the all-clear by medics.

He added: “Thankfully it was the easiest of procedures and my bowels are completely clear of any polyps and I have no worries whatsoever.


“The next step for me is to get some genetic tests to see whether my mum’s bowel cancer could have been passed on genetically. I’m just glad this doesn’t involve MoviPrep!

“I’ve shared this with you for a reason! Colonoscopies aren’t a joke and neither is bowel cancer. It’s a vile disease that can be prevented with some education and awareness on early signs of the disease. There’s no shame in doing what I’ve done.

“Go on our amazing @nhs website to get any information required and please speak to your GP. It was 23 years ago that my mum passed away. With the advances in medicine since then, I would like to envisage that taking my advice could help save your life.”





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