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“My weight loss saved my husband’s life”

July 29 2019
Michelle Rawlins
By Michelle Rawlins

Sam Cadwallader was overjoyed to be her husband’s kidney donor after losing 92lbs.* Here’s the final story in our inspiring ‘Hearts of Gold’ series, featuring Slimming World members whose weight loss meant much more than simply the number on the scale.

“My weight loss saved my husband’s life”

“I wasn’t always overweight, then after having my first and second child, the pounds crept on, and I never found a way to lose them. Being a busy mom, I spent my time making sure my children ate well, while snacking on whole packs of cookies, or eating toast spread thickly with peanut butter myself. Then, once the kids were in bed, I’d have takeout for dinner. As my weight climbed further, I resigned myself to the thought that I was always going to be large, so there was no point trying to slim.”

Facing new challenges
“We’d had some difficult times in the past, when my husband Paul’s construction business folded and I’d been made redundant, and food became my comfort through the tough times. Then, out of the blue, Paul was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease and he became very weak. Doctors warned us Paul might eventually need a transplant and I hoped that if that day came, I’d turn out to be a match. If we couldn’t find a donor, he’d be reliant on dialysis three times a week, lowering his quality of life even further.”

Taking action
“By now, I’d reached size 20, and was fed up with feeling self-conscious and exhausted. I joined Slimming World and began to get to grips with the Food Optimizing eating plan, enjoying proper, filling meals—it felt like my taste buds had come alive! With each week, my weight dropped, until one day, it was my turn to see the specialist to find out if I could be the one to give Paul a kidney. I was ecstatic when I heard I was a match—although, before I could undergo surgery, I was told I’d have to lose another 28lbs.”

Achieving our goal
“I’d already lost over 40lbs and was more determined than ever to help the man who’d been by my side through our toughest times. And by the time we were given a date for the surgery, I’d done it! Tears streamed down my face when I stepped on the scale to find I’d lost almost 30lbs more and could now donate Paul one of my kidneys. Three weeks later, we were both admitted to hospital and, thankfully, everything went well. Finally, we could look towards the future.”

“A year on, I have my old, energetic husband back. When he’s not running around after the children, he’s building an extension on our home. And he’s not the only one with a new lease of life. I’m at my target weight now and having so much active fun with the kids. Being together as a family, with Paul in good health, is everything I’d hoped for when I started my weight loss—and we’re enjoying every moment.”

Inspired? You’ll find lots more information and recipe ideas  on our websiteOr try our exclusive 7-day Food Optimizing menu plan  and start your own weight loss success story today.