Where is Kelly Ronahan today? Her life after surgery

Kelly Ronahan

Netizens have tracked Kelly Ronahan’s deterioration since the ballet teacher hit the headlines in 2014. At the time, her story was one of hope, perseverance, and the power of human kindness. Ronahan relied on blood transfusions to treat a disease that confounded specialists: doctors couldn’t explain why her hemoglobin dipped so dramatically every seven days. 

Ronahan’s blood condition mysteriously disappeared, only to be replaced by a bizarre leg condition that caused the meat on her skin to decay. We advise discretion before you search for photos of Ronahan’s legs; not everyone can stomach those images.

Kelly abandoned social media after doctors amputated her legs in May 2021

The condition on Kelly’s legs started as scabs and blisters that doctors couldn’t diagnose but expected to heal. However, Ronahan picked the blisters, turning them into larger wounds. Against the doctors’ advice, Kelly continued tampering with her wounds, leading to nerve and circulation system damage concerns. 

In early 2019, surgeons implanted grafts on Kelly’s legs in an attempt to spark tissue growth around the wounds. Unfortunately, Ronahan interfered with the healing process, making her condition worse than it was before the surgery. 

By May 2021, the muscle on Kelly’s legs had rotted so much that the only recourse left was a double amputation at the knees. Via one of her last social media posts, Ronahan said she had a ‘horrific’ surgery story and had started physiotherapy. 

“Good fuck it hurts,” Ronahan wrote, “but I’m not interested in spending yet another summer in bed – going to be working hard. Not gonna lie, I cry about 20 times per day, I’m absolutely devastated and shocked to shit with this. It’s HARD.”

Kelly used to post updates about her condition, but the uploads dried up after her surgery. Ronahan had threatened to quit social media, stating via a lengthy March 2021 post that she was considering recovering without engaging her internet followers. 

Ronahan said that given her struggles, a little hate would drive her over the edge. Kelly pondered whether opening up was worth it anymore. She wrote:

“I just don’t know if it’s worth it, (being candid and raw) anymore… I’m kind of going to think about it some more, and come to a decision; should I abandon social media, and be lonely but hate free, or experience friendship which will also come with hate.”

Via an early April 2021 post, Ronahan described her mental health as ‘ugly’. “I’m not positive on the inside, my thoughts tell me there is no hope,” she wrote. “I do still experience happiness, love and hope, but it’s being taken over by darkness. I am expecting a turbulent future, and it scares me.”

Fans speculated that Kelly faked her conditions for social media fame

Few, if any, suspected Kelly of faking the blood condition that made her famous. Even the doctors who treated her performed the weekly blood transfusions optimistic they would figure out the course of Kelly’s vanishing hemoglobin. 

“I get three bags every two weeks, so that’s three people, three blood donors to save me every two weeks,” Ronahan told Global News. “[Without the transfusions] I would go into organ failure, and within a month or six weeks, I would be dead.”

In July 2016, doctors discharged Kelly from the hospital after finding out she was faking seizures. However, fans didn’t turn on her; they organized several blood drives in her name. 

Kelly’s health worsened in 2017: Kelly’s blood-transfusion port got infected, and she revealed her battle with eating disorders and self-harm. In April 2017, doctors drew Kelly’s blood for several tests and discovered her hemoglobin count was normal. 

The results, plus the dubious self-harm claim, led to suggestions that Kelly was feigning illness to get attention. The accusation gained more traction after Ronahan’s blood condition mysteriously disappeared. 

Ronahan blamed uterine fibroids and MS for her blood problems. Her Instagram bio also features Behcet’s disease, a rare condition that causes blood vessel inflammation, and anemia. 

Kelly’s leg problems started after healing from her blood condition, which she attributed to an unconfirmed hysterectomy that removed the problematic uterine fibroids. 

Ronahan’s refusal to let her wounds heal and accusations that she contaminated the wounds with feces contributed to the theory that she manufactured her illnesses.