Diet’s put off Hertfordshire woman’s kidney transplant

THIS time last year mother-of-four Lisa Chaplin was told she would need a kidney transplant within 12 months.

But a radical overhaul of her lifestyle has seen her shed more than three stone, which doctors believe means she will not need surgery for at least another five years.

Lisa is now helping others as a consultant for the Slimming World diet plan which got her into shape.

The 38-year-old suffers from systemic lupus erythematosus, which causes her immune system to mistakenly attack her body – in her case, the kidneys.

Throughout all of her pregnancies Lisa had to inject herself to stop her blood thickening.

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But it was when she was expecting her third child in 2004, she was told her kidneys were failing.

Defying doctors’ wishes, she continued with the pregnancy – and her third son Robert was born prematurely at 29 weeks, weighing only 3lbs 2oz.

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Kidney failure

He recovered but Lisa, of Roestock Lane, Colney Heath, was told she was in secondary kidney failure.

Her condition stabilised and, in 2007, Lisa fell pregnant again.

She went on to carry fourth son Thomas to 36 weeks, but then her condition deteriorated dramatically.

She said: “I was advised I would need a transplant within the next few years.

“I was closely monitored and in January 2009 was given the terrible news I was being placed on the transplant register immediately with a view to have a transplant within 12 months.”

“As always I was told if I could lose a little weight it would help my blood pressure and take some strain off my kidneys.

“Even though I knew this advice would help me, I’ve always been a comfort eater and turned to food when in a crisis.

“My wardrobe contained clothes from a size 18 to 26 and I’d be happy in the knowledge there would always be something to fit me.

“I was probably one of the only brides who gained weight for their wedding day and whose dress had to be let out – twice!”

Lisa piled on more weight after the loss of her grandmother last June – until photos of a night out with friends posted on Facebook proved to be a turning point.

She said: “They really showed everything in its full glory and I’d had enough and decided it was time to lose those pounds.”

Lisa joined a Slimming World group and shed 10 per cent of her body weight in a month.

She said: “I was so thrilled and, at an appointment with my kidney consultant in November, was stunned to learn by dropping this 10 per cent I had improved my blood pressure.

“The doctor predicted I could have at least another five years before needing a transplant.”

Lisa has now jumped at an opportunity to become a Slimming World consultant herself.

“It was the new start I needed and I couldn’t wait to start helping others improve their health.”

The group meets at Colney Heath Primary School every Wednesday at 7.30pm.

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