A MODEL who collapsed at home before being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease is now supporting a new app to raise awareness of the condition.

Natalie-Amber Freegard, a 27-year-old from central Swindon, is endorsing a new health app called ‘In My Shoes’, which simulates living with the condition for people who don’t have it.

“It’s a really useful way of helping people understand what having Crohn’s disease is like on a daily basis,” said Natalie-Amber.

The app has been created by Crohn’s & Colitis UK and allows users to spend a ‘day in the life’ of someone living with Crohn’s or Colitis. They are sent notifications for tasks including ‘against the clock’ photo challenges to find a bathroom, dropping what you’re doing to rest if you are in too much pain, and a test to check hydration levels.

Natalie-Amber’s mum Rachel Freegard, who has used the app, said: “It just opens your eyes to how much inconvenience the disease is for suffers, and how much it interrupts your day having to find a toilet at short notice.

“We’re lucky that we don’t have to worry about where we go and what we eat, but these are constant concerns for someone with Crohn’s.”

Natalie-Amber was rushed to hospital in 2017 after collapsing at her home and going temporarily blind.

She suffered kidney failure and sepsis and had two emergency operations to remove 35cm of her small intestine and fit a stoma bag.

The bag was reversed a year ago but Natalie-Amber says living with the condition is still hard.

She said: “You have good days and bad days. You always have to take spare clothes with you wherever you go. And the tiredness is the worst. I’m always tired now no matter what.

“With Crohn’s you just don’t know what kind of a day it will be.

“Some days I’m fine, and then other days I’m constantly going to the toilet and it really stops me getting on with my day,” she said.

The new app can be downloaded for free.

Natalie-Amber added: “I think it would really help particularly managers or staff at colleges, where there may be young people who still haven’t got a diagnosis, to understand what it’s like for people who know there is a problem.”

Natalie-Amber had a bad experience with a manger when working a part-time job at Blunsdon House Hotel before getting her diagnosis.

“He used to say things like, ‘oh you’re not ill’, and people just think you’re being lazy going to the toilet all the time or just on you’re phone. He used to make me cry,” she said.

Crohn’s disease is an auto immune disease which causes parts of the digestive system to become inflamed. It can affect people of all ages, and there is no known cure.