herald

Friday 18 August 2017

'You're at risk of gout - that's crazy for a 22-year-old'

a young woman at risk of developing gout is one of the final two leaders viewers were introduced to on last night's Operation Transformation.

Mairead Redmond (22), from Waterford, weighs 16st 4.5lbs and was warned by Dr Ciara Kelly she was in danger of developing the condition, which is extremely rare for someone of her age.

Gout is a disease where the defective metabolism of uric acid causes arthritis, especially in the smaller bones of the feet, and can cause acute pain.

During Mairead's weigh-in, Dr Kelly warned her that her blood tests were very worrying.

Alarming

"Part of the journey with Operation Transformation is about health as much as about weight loss and I've been looking at your bloods. What alarms me is that your inflammatory markers and uric acid levels are high so you're at risk of gout and that's crazy for a 22-year-old," she said.

Mairead, who works as a chocolatier and pastry chef, lives at home with her parents Noel and Mary.

The Waterford woman admitted she has a wardrobe full of clothes bought in a smaller size she has not yet had the chance to wear.

"I'd say half my wardrobe is clothes that I haven't worn with labels still on. Things that I said 'I'll wear that now when I get down to that size, that'll fit me in six weeks or that'll fit me by Christmas'," she said.

Mairead admitted her weight has left her feeling like two different people, the person she is and the one she hopes to become.

"I don't want to be this person anymore. It feels like there's two people in me - the one that I am and the one I want to be," she said.

"You don't really feel yourself. You just kind of feel like you're not there."

Fellow Leader Chris McElligott lives in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, with his partner Elizabeth and their three children, Ryan (8), Dylan (5) and 10-month-old Mya.

Sixteen years ago, Chris's right leg was severed below the knee in a road accident. He was on his way home to play a soccer match when the van he was driving was jack-knifed by a truck.

Chris was fitted with a prosthetic leg six months later.

Prosthetic

The Meath man weighs 17st 11.5lbs and his size has meant getting around is a struggle, putting undue pressure on his prosthetic leg. Before his accident, the dad-of-three spent much his time on the soccer pitch and is eager to get moving again.

"It's nearly 17 years since I lost my leg. I've used that excuse for so many years now, being an amputee. This is a time when I have no excuses," he said.

Thousands of people are set to take part in the series' nationwide walk event next Saturday at more than 70 venues around the country. The event is open to walkers of all ages and experiences and kicks off at 9.30am.

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