Francis had surgery for diverticular stenosis at the weekend and is apparently well and in recovery.

American Society of Colon and Rectan surgeons site:

  • Diverticulosis: The presence of diverticula without associated complications or problems. The condition can lead to more serious issues including diverticulitis, perforation (the formation of holes), stricture (a narrowing of the colon that does not easily let stool pass), fistulas (abnormal connection or tunneling between body parts), and bleeding.
  • Diverticulitis:  An inflammatory condition of the colon thought to be caused by perforation of one of the sacs. Several secondary complications can result from a diverticulitis attack, and when this occurs, it is called complicated diverticulitis.

Surgery for diverticular disease is indicated for the following: 

  • A rupture of the colon that causes pus or stool to leak into the abdominal cavity, resulting in peritonitis. Rupture of the colon often requires emergency surgery. 
  • An abscess than cannot be effectively drained. 
  • Severe cases that do not respond to maximum medical therapy, which includes hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics. 
  • Patients with immune system problems (related to an organ transplant or chemotherapy). 
  • A colonic stricture or fistula. 
  • A history of multiple attacks, a patient can undergo elective surgery in order to prevent future attacks. 

Surgery for diverticular disease usually involves removal of the affected part of the colon, and may or may not involve a colostomy or ileostomy, where a part of the intestine brought out through the abdominal wall to drain into a bag. A decision regarding the type of operation is made with your surgeon on a case-by-case basis. 


In the late 1980s I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.


Crohn’s Disease is classed as a chronic illness which means it is lifelong. There is no cure, but people who have Crohn’s Disease can go through periods of active disease where they experience “flare-ups” and then through periods where the disease goes into remission, is more under control & causes less symptoms. Medication and in more severe cases, surgery, can be options to help reduce the activity of the disease and symptoms.


I was diagnosed with Crohns in the late 1980s and think the stress of my bust-up with the church contributed to my illness.

I became very ill with severe abdominal pain, bleeding and diarrhea.

For a while my condition was managed with steroids but eventually became out of control.

In 1991 I had surgery in Belfast where a portion of my bowel was removed – the tail end of the ilium, the ileocecal junction and the beginning of the colon.

Illustration of the ileocecal junction, where the small intestine meets the large intestine, cutaway view. Shown are theileum, cecum, appendix, and ascending colon.

I was in hospital for 4 weeks after surgery and could not swallow water or food.

The prognosis was dim – surgery every couple of years ending up with a colostomy.

I decided to find another solution.


I read about Professor John Hermon Taylor in St. George’s Hospital in Tooting, London.

Prof. John Hermon-Taylor is a molecular scientist, retired surgeon and internationally renowned Crohn’s Disease expert whose research into Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) and its relationship to Crohn’s Disease has spanned over 30 years.

John qualified as a doctor from Cambridge University in 1960 and went on to obtain Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1963. He was appointed to the Chair of Surgery at St George’s Medical School, London in 1976. From this time, John dedicated himself to the care of people with Crohn’s Disease. Many of his former patients attest to his kindness, generosity and personal approach as well as his wisdom and skill as a surgeon. His determination to help his patients led his career down a research pathway. He led a team of scientists at St. George’s, focussed on the causation of Crohn’s Disease and increasingly on the involvement of MAP, which he believes to be the predominant cause of Crohn’s. He retired from the practise of surgery in 2002, to focus full-time on his research.

Between 1997 and 2007 he developed a modern therapeutic vaccine against MAP (together with Dr Tim Bull at St George’s and Prof. Sarah Gilbert at Oxford University) designed to treat Crohn’s. He believes that the vaccine holds the best hope of Crohn’s cure we have ever had.

In 2008 he moved to King’s College London where he continues to work full-time as a Visiting Professor in the gastrointestinal research group run by Dr Jeremy Sanderson.

He is currently occupied with the phase 2a trial of the vaccine in people with Crohn’s Disease, whilst working on the completion of a much-needed diagnostic test for MAP in humans.

Publications by
Prof. Hermon-Taylor

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, Crohn’s disease and the Doomsday Scenario.

A Novel Multi-Antigen Virally Vectored Vaccine against Mycobacterium avium Subspecies paratuberculosis. 

Immunity, safety and protection of an Adenovirus 5 prime – Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara boost sub-unit vaccine against Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection in calves 


I went to Prof HT in quite ote a bad way.

He blasted me with three very strong TB drugs that made me very unwell.

Then everything settled and I was really good.

I have not had any trouble with Crohns for over 25 years.

Every time I get a colonoscopy they tell me they can find no Crohns.

Because of my diagnosis and surgery I have a couple of small issues. But Prof HT did the trick for me.