She has gone from obese to deadly underweight.
Texan Rachel Layou’s weight started skyrocketing in 2011. That year, this 43-year-old mother gave birth to her fourth child – weighing up to 12kg – and had “out of control” diabetes.
“My medication will be out of control and I have gained a lot of weight,” the certified nursing assistant told Caters News. “I’m not satisfied with the way I look.” No matter what she did, her weight only seemed to increase, until she was so obese it was difficult to care for the children. At her heaviest, she weighed more than 330 pounds.
On the advice of her doctor, she underwent a gastric bypass surgery in 2015 – but ended up being hospitalized just a few days later after having a high fever and intolerable abdominal pain: doing for its contents to leak out.
“Once they take the stomach out, they can’t put it back,” she said. “I spent almost two months in the hospital and they couldn’t fix it.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, the surgeries alter the digestive system to help patients lose weight, remove part of the stomach to reduce food capacity, or reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients – or a combination both.
About 250,000 of these surgeries were performed in 2018, most of them gastric bypass, the Wall Street Journal reported. These procedures are expensive and carry risks including excessive bleeding, infection, and blood clotting, Mayo said.
Layou’s postoperative abdomen is very small, she cannot swallow anything, not even her own water or saliva. To keep her alive, the hospital inserted a feeding tube straight into her heart. For the next three years, she still couldn’t swallow, went through “every possible complication you can imagine” and watched her weight drop drastically.
She said: “I have lost a lot of weight, which I was happy to start with but then I only have about 84 pounds left. “I want a healthy weight, not skinny, about 112 pounds so I can spend time with my kids.”
Hair loss a lot, teeth damaged, left eye blind, forced to quit work, sent to nursing homes and many times near death. “My body is failing because I have anorexia,” Layou said of his health condition.
Finally, in January 2019, she did a correction procedure – but was warned there was a significant risk she would die in the process “and if I survived but the surgery failed. Gong, I will have six weeks to live because my heart will fail. “
But the corrective surgery was successful, and today Layou weighs a healthy 140 pounds, although “I have to be careful because a spoon is too much and I could get sick for the day.”
She is currently raising funds through GoFundMe, to go back to school and get her nurse’s degree so she can “build better lives for my children.”
“I just have faith in God to give me a miracle and not give up hope,” she said of the challenge.