A woman had part of her stomach removed and lost over 16-and-a-half stone after a psychic predicted she would die if she didn't take drastic action about her weight.
Rebecca Wilkinson, 30, from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, first saw her weight start to creep up in her teens, and after having a baby at 18, says she put on nearly 10 stone in just under two years.
Struggling to eat healthily, Wilkinson would often have two takeaways a day, followed by snacks like chocolate, crisps, and sweets and litres of Lucozade.
At her heaviest, the mum-of-one weighed 28st 12lbs and wore a size 28-30.
Despite years of dieting, Wilkinson says she didn't see much change in her weight, until a trip to a psychic "scared her" into action.
The psychic told the apprentice plasterer that if she carried on eating unhealthily she would have "no future", urging her to "do whatever it takes or die".
The stark warning kick-started her weight loss journey and she immediately booked a flight to Antalya, Turkey, to undergo a private gastric sleeve operation in September 2020.
According to the NHS, weight loss surgery, also called bariatric or metabolic surgery, is sometimes used as a treatment for people who are very obese.
It can lead to significant weight loss and help improve many obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
But it's a major operation and in most cases should only be considered after trying to lose weight through a healthy diet and exercise.
The NHS says a sleeve gastrectomy procedure means some of your stomach is removed, so you cannot eat as much as you could before and you'll feel full sooner.
It’s a major operation and comes with a wide range of health risks, including, in rare cases, death from complications.
Watch: 7 things Rebel Wilson did to get healthy and maintain her 77-pound weight loss.
But Wilkinson's procedure went well and just a year after the operation to remove part of her stomach, she has lost a staggering 16st 7lb - slimming down to 12st 5lb and a trim size 10-14.
"It’s turned my life around,” she says.
Having been bullied during her teens, Wilkinson says she often turned to food for comfort.
“I went to an all-girls school, and I was bullied really badly," she explains.
"In school they nicknamed me 'Rebecca double-decker' because I was bigger than the other girls.
“I definitely ate to feel better.
“I’d start the day with four pieces of buttered toast, and if I was peckish at mid-morning, I’d easily repeat this.
“For lunch I’d get a takeaway, and dinner every single night was a takeaway as well.”
As her weight spiralled out of control, Wilkinson struggled with her mental health and suffered from anxiety and depression.
“For years I tried to ignore the mess I was in," she continues. “I wouldn’t leave the house without my mum or fiancé by my side. I was selective over where I went in case I didn’t fit in the seat or the toilet cubicle. I even had people shouting profanities at me from passing cars."
Having tried and failed to lose weight over the years Wilkinson was left feeling "defeated".
She says she was spurred into taking drastic action after hearing some chilling words about her future during a visit to a psychic in 2020. “He said he saw 'no life' for me on the cards," she says. He also said: 'Do what it takes - go to the extreme or you will die.' I knew I had to take drastic action and surgery was the only way.
“I was sceptical of the psychic at first, but he knew things no one else did,” she explains. "The way he knew about how I’d eat and ‘hibernate’ afterwards. I left the reading in tears, but it was important I did. It was the wake up call I needed to change.”
After the reading, Wilkinson looked into private surgery for a gastric sleeve in the UK, but discovered it could cost upwards of £12,000.
Having researched alternatives, the mum found having the operation abroad in Turkey could cost a fraction of the price - £3,000 - and flew over in September 2020 with her mum, Jayne Nunn, 47, who also underwent the surgery.
The operation involved removing three quarters of the stomach and the remaining amount formed a 'sleeve' or tube that lead to the intestine.
After the surgery, Wilkinson had to consume a diet of liquids, purees, and soft foods for a month before being able to eat solid food again.
"It all went well but it was a lot to adjust to with my new diet," she says.
"Now I can only eat small amounts every two hours - such as a bit of protein like a salmon fillet.
"For dinner, I'll usually have a very small portion of whatever I've cooked for the family.
"I don't feel hunger or miss food."
And Wilkinson says her weight loss has given her a whole new lease of life.
"I'm able to move around and live pain free," she explains.
"I enjoy super long walks, going out and socialising which I never imagined would be possible."
Having struggled to conceive a second baby for the last 12 years due to her weight, Wilkinson is now hoping to have another baby with partner of 16 years, Matt, 34, who owns a plastering company.
She also hopes to return to Turkey for a second procedure to remove the excess skin.
"Hopefully the weight loss will help with my fertility and having another baby," she adds.
"It's changed my life."
Additional reporting SWNS.