A father of four who suffered a stroke while working in hospital after a hot air balloon ride to 26stone has changed his life and lost more than half his weight.
John Schofield was working in a cardiology department and was a size 5XL when he suffered a stroke after years of biting on pies, patties, sausage rolls and burgers.
John often skipped breakfast, drank every day, and ate pies or scones as a snack between his main meals.
But all that had to end after the incident at work, when he was only 45.
The stroke, in which he was fitted with a pacemaker to slow his heart, left him constantly out of breath and obscuring his words, reports MEN.
John weighed 26 stone and was a size 5XL (Image: John Schofield)
John now weighs 12 pounds and looks unrecognizable after losing half his body weight, going from a 60-inch waist to 30.
“Exactly five years ago, I was working at Wythenshawe Hospital when I suddenly felt unwell and colleagues found myself obscuring my words,” said John.
“I remember feeling disoriented and not recording what was being said around me. Since I was already in the hospital, a specialist nurse took my blood pressure and quickly took an EKG.
“The results showed I had atrial fibrillation, something I was not familiar with until then, which meant my heart was beating and beating faster than it should have.”
A CT scan showed he had had a stroke.
John now weighs 12 stone and has gone from a waist of 60 inches to 30
“It was the wake-up call I needed to make a change.”
“I knew that being overweight put more strain on my heart and that the pacemaker I fitted was not cheap,” added John.
“I felt like if someone had put so much time, effort and expense into making sure I was alive, it was time I did my part to help.”
John was given a cocktail of daily tablets and an inhaler. His chest always felt heavy and his legs and joints ached all the time.
“I wasn’t very active at all and even a short walk to the store would take me forever and a day,” said John.
“About that time I ran into two school friends at the local supermarket who had both lost weight and looked so much healthier that I had to ask how they had done.
“They said they went to their local Slimming World group. I had tried so many weight loss plans and slimming groups, but I hadn’t tried these so I thought I’d give it a go.
John has undergone a tremendous transformation (Image: John Schofield)
“I didn’t have much hope, but with a weight of 26 stones I didn’t know what else I could do.”
John lost 15 pounds in the first two weeks and immediately started to feel better.
After two years, by the end of 2019, John had lost more than half his body weight and no longer needed to take any medication or use his inhaler.
“I have no aches and pains in my legs, and I also have a brand new wardrobe after going from size 5XL to medium or small sizes. I can buy clothes so much more easily, not just at specialty stores or online.
“Now I eat a lot of fruit and make sure to eat three meals a day. I’ve given up the beer I drank every night and I always make sure to have eggs for breakfast, because that keeps me going until lunch.
“I still enjoy hearty foods like burgers, but I make them myself with lean ground beef and I’ve discovered a new love for cooking. Big fan of the slow cooker, I’m really proud of my meatball chili.
“I used to drive past joggers and tell my kids someday I will be! Now I walk everywhere instead of getting in the car and I regularly walk about 7 kilometers to my dad’s house, which took me a little less than a mile. hours.
“I recently raised £ 10,000 for the Ticker Club, a local heart charity. The old one never would have believed I could have done that.”
Since February this year, John has been on the front line of the coronavirus at Salford Royal Hospital, in the intensive care unit and the Covid infection control unit.
John is no longer taking any medication and does not need an inhaler (Image: John Schofield)
“Being on your feet for 13 hours and wearing the PBM, which looks like something from Star Wars, was a real challenge,” he said.
“At the height of the lockdown, I struggled to stay on track because the panic buying meant empty shelves and my usual ingredients were nowhere to be found.
“Due to sheer exhaustion, I lost my good intentions and soon gained weight. My mood was low and on shift I found it difficult to join my group in one of the weekly virtual classes they set up.
John said he was lost during lockdown, but now that he can speak to members of his group again, they are helping to motivate him after a bad week.
“I feel under control and I am determined to get back on track by Christmas,” he added.
“Having seen firsthand the impact of the coronavirus and hearing about the increased risks of obesity if you contract Covid, I have been so relieved to be in good shape this year and also more determined to stay that way.
“I know what to do, and I don’t want to throw it all away.”