A super-slimming couple have been given a new lease of life after shedding more than 16 stones between them.
Kevin and Catherine Falconer have been so invigorated by their mammoth weight loss that they are planning a trip to Las Vegas to renew their wedding vows.
The couple, from Belle Isle, Leeds, have both undergone gastric bypass surgery over the past 12 months.
Catherine, who has lost more than five stones, said: “I feel like a teenager.
“I wore a dress to have my photo taken and I’ve not worn one for 20 years.”
Both of them had struggled with their weight for many years, trying a variety of diets, attempting exercise and taking medication.
But Kevin, a long distance lorry driver, found it difficult to eat healthily while on the road – so the weight piled on.
“When you are as fat as I was you give up all hope,” he said.
Catherine, a taxi driver, had weight problems since being a teenager and suffers from other health issues including osteoarthritis, which made it difficult for her to exercise.
She initially enquired about surgery on the NHS, but was turned down at first.
In the meantime Kevin, who is 5ft 3ins tall and weighed 25 stones, was given the go-ahead.
The granddad-of-two underwent the procedure at Spire Leeds Hospital in Roundhay last April and since then has slimmed down to 13st 12 lbs, losing more than 11 stones.
That made great-grandma Catherine even more determined and she was able to undergo the surgery at the same hospital, through the NHS, in October.
“Seeing Kevin’s success gave me the confidence to have the surgery as I was quite frightened,” she said.
She has now slimmed from 19-and-a-half stones to under 14, going from a size 24 to 26 to an 18.
Now she hopes to get down to 10 stones, which she hasn’t weighed since she was 16.
“We both feel we have been given a new lease of life and a longer lifespan,” said Kevin.
The couple, who have been married 24 years, now plan to celebrate by renewing their wedding vows in Las Vegas in April.
Catherine praised Prof Peter Lodge, consultant hepatobilliary and weight loss surgeon, who carried out both ops.
She said: “This year I plan to be running around with my grandkids. I have so much to look forward to, I can’t stop smiling.”