'I couldn't even fit in a cinema seat' - Mum who shed 11st after shock tumour discovery
A woman who could not go to the cinema with her children because she was too big for the seats has turned her life around and lost 11st.
Mum-of-three Jackie Nolan's weight-loss journey began when she was told she had a rare tumour on her pancreas and needed urgent surgery to remove it.
"It is five years since I had the operation for what I was told was a condition that only affects one in three million," said Jackie (44), from Baldoyle, Co Dublin.
However, it took doctors a long time to discover the tumour, which left her so tired that she would have to go back to bed after getting her children off to school.
She was passing out in the shower and unable to do more than make a cup of tea without becoming exhausted. Doctors were struggling to diagnose what was causing her symptoms. Once they identified the problem, Jackie had half her pancreas removed to ensure the tumour was gone. A photograph taken of her in hospital, when she was a size 30, spurred her into losing weight when she had recovered from surgery.
"I wanted to be healthy and be around for my children. We had gone through a very tough time and I wanted to meet a partner in the future," she said. "That photograph was what made me realise my next challenge was to lose weight. I lost 8st on my own and then I heard about Slimming World and I joined it in Balbriggan. Over three-and-a-half years I went from 24st 8lb to 13st 8lb."
Jackie has also come through a difficult separation and is now sole parent to her two sons and one daughter.
She said she went from being "a homeless, hopeless woman to having my own business and being at a weight I want to be."
"I have three children who make me proud and I found love again after nine years. It all makes life worth living," she said. "My weight stopped me from doing things with my children. I could not go to the cinema because I couldn't fit into the seats. When you carry extra weight you do all you can to keep your humiliation down to a minimum."