Breege had to go to UK for life-saving operation
THREE years ago doctors told Breege Doolin she could be dead in a matter of months unless she received life-saving gastric bypass surgery.
But she was warned she faced a five-year wait to have the operation as a public patient.
Breege (55), a mother-of-three from Donamon, Co Roscommon, was 22 stone at the time. Her weight, along with her asthma, was leaving her breathless.
"I did not have an ounce of breath to go from the bedroom to the bathroom," she said.
Former care worker Breege said steroids she was on for her asthma were a major contributory factor to her condition.
Her daughter Lydia researched private clinics and found the Hospital Group cosmetic surgery company in England. Breege travelled to a hospital in Leeds, where she had a gastric bypass in a five-hour operation.
It cost €13,000 and after a struggle she eventually got her private health insurance company to pay €6,000. The rest came out of her husband Colm's redundancy money.
The first year was very difficult.
"I shed 10 stone in a year. I must eat baby portions for the rest of my life," she said.
"It's big life change. I can never eat and drink together again. If I have a cup of tea I have to wait 15 minutes for something to eat. Then I cannot have something to drink for an hour afterwards."