Model Lisa Brown starved to death from rare digestive disorder

  • 27/01/2017
Lisa Brown
Lisa Brown and her husband Patrick Brown. (Supplied)

After six years of fighting for her life with a rare digestive disorder, model Lisa Brown was ready to die.

The model, from Wisconsin in the United States, suffered from superior mesenteric artery syndrome (SMAS), a rare digestive disorder which caused part of her small intestine to compress, stopping food from passing through. 

On Saturday (NZ time) - after numerous therapies, surgeries and visits to specialists across the country, she died. 

She told People magazine: "It's my time to go, I'm done fighting." 

The 34-year-old, who stood at 1.72m (5 ft 10), weighed just 34 kilograms several days before she died.

The disorder caused her to vomit after every meal, and she dramatically lost weight and suffered from stomach pains.

It was often assumed she was anorexic: "People would say I should eat a burger, and they'd ask me why I was starving myself," she said.

Ms Brown first noticed she was dramatically losing weight after her 28th birthday. In 2013, she was diagnosed with SMAS after visiting three different hospitals and going through a series of CT scans.

Her husband, Patrick Brown, wrote on a Gofundme page started to help his wife pay for her medical bills that she devoted her final years to raising awareness and helping others with SMAS. 

To spread awareness about the syndrome, she created a YouTube video entitled 'Be Brave SMAS Warriors', which inspired many around the world to connect with her. 

"She went to heaven peacefully with her family by her side," Mr Brown said. "I would say an angel got her wings, but she was and is more than an angel."

SMAS affects fewer than 1 percent of the population and leaves sufferers with a 30 percent chance of death. The condition is hard to detect and diagnoses can often come too late.