Wicklow mum loses an incredible 13 stone and beats diabetes
A woman who feared she would not live to see her grandchildren grow up has lost 13 stone - the equivalent of an average person - in just over a year.
Carol Ann Curley (48) dropped from dress size 36 to size 10 to 12 by sticking to a healthy diet and weight-loss regime.
Now in the final of the Unislim Slimmer of the Year competition, she has revealed she was motivated to change her life because she did not want her children to lose their parents at a young age.
"I was only 21 when my mum died," said Carol Ann. "She was 46 and had high cholesterol and suffered a heart attack. I didn't want that to happen to me."
At her heaviest, Carol Ann was afraid she would die in her sleep and not get to see her sons Gavin (28), Andrew (26), Craig (19) and James (14) grow up.
"I would have tears in my eyes and be praying that I would wake up in the morning," she said.
In April 2013 Carol Ann, from Roundwood, Co Wicklow, wore a size 36 outfit to Gavin's wedding.
But it was a visit to her doctor that was a major wake-up call.
"My legs were swelling, I couldn't walk with the pain and had to use a stool on wheels to get across the kitchen floor," she said.
The mum of four's kidneys were failing, her blood pressure was "sky high" and she had diabetes.
"When I left the doctor I cried the whole way home," she said. "At the time my second grandchild was due and I said to myself, 'Do something or you won't see them grow up'.
"It was my will to live and to be here for them that spurred me on."
Carol Ann said she was terrified when she first attended a Unislim meeting.
"I was rattling as I stood on the scales," she said. "I was afraid they wouldn't be able to weigh me because I was too heavy.
"On my weigh-in after my first week I had lost 12 pounds. After that I kept losing between two and six pounds a week.
"I have lost a total of 71.5 inches. I have lost the equivalent of an entire person."
Carol Ann paid tribute to Unislim class leader Jean Kelly.
"She would text me to see how I was getting on," she said. "She saved my life."