'I transformed my health and lost 71kg with two unusual steps'
Pamela had only one focus on losing the weight—and it all started after chancing upon an unusual Facebook post.
Pamela was stuck in a rut of her journey to losing weight then putting it all back on – until an unusual Facebook post resparked her motivation and transformed her health.
It’s a familiar weight loss cycle, and a few years ago 40-year-old Pamela Ann Davis was fully stuck in it.
“I’d lose 30 kilos but then I’d stall,” she tells Kidspot.
Time and again she’d get to this point and then give up, putting it all back on.
But in 2018 she was determined it would be different. Pamela’s daughter, Mackenzie, now 16, took a photo of her mum and the image of the 136kg woman staring back at her shocked Pamela into action.
Journey to losing weight: She started strong, but wondered if she could keep it up
In the past she’d started eating salad when she wanted to diet, but now Pamela had come to realise how unsustainable this was.
“This time I researched properly. I spent hours online looking at how to make what I liked to eat healthier,” she says. “For pizza I needed to load up on veg and use light cheese, for example.”
She started walking, too, and gradually the kilos started coming off. Pamela felt great but as the weeks went by, she began to wonder if she really could stay on track.
A chance Facebook encounter
Then one evening she was on Facebook and a post from an old high school friend, 40-year-old Jennifer Trevino, came up.
She was suffering stage four kidney failure and needed a transplant. In the post, she was making a desperate plea for help.
“I can’t even explain what happened to me in that minute,” Pamela says. “It sounds so crazy. I hadn’t seen or heard from Jennifer in 20 years but a voice in my head said, ‘this is meant for you’.”
Inexplicably, Pamela found herself typing a reply to Jennifer saying she’d like to find out more.
Nobody could believe her decision
There was the slimmest of possibilities she’d be a match but she went for the tests anyway – and she describes the call telling her she was a match as “the coolest moment” of her life.
Nobody could believe it, least of all Pamela’s family!
“What if one of your kids needs a kidney in future and you’ve given it away already?” people asked.
“What if I don’t do it and my kids don’t need a kidney?” she replied.
It was a newfound focus
Her mind was made up, but there was just one more big hurdle: she needed to lose another 36 kilos before surgery.
At the usual point where her resolve was weakening, Pamela suddenly had a newfound focus. She threw everything at her new goal, joining a gym and getting super strict with her diet.
By the operation on December 27, 2018, she was 65 kilos. In total she’d lost 71 kilos.
The surgery was laparoscopic so there’d be no scarring, but Pamela was warned recovery would be eight weeks.
“It seemed like nothing knowing Jennifer has been suffering since her twenties,” Pamela says.
“It’s the most fulfilling, positive thing”
Both the surgery and recovery were quick for both women, and Pamela was as thankful to Jennifer for giving her a reason to stick with her diet as Jennifer was for the kidney!
In fact, Pamela had such a great feeling donating that months later she researched how to donate part of her liver. In June 2020, after an anonymous match was found, she did that, too.
This time there was no keyhole surgery and she was cut vertically down her abdomen. Doctors took 70 percent of her liver and used it to save someone’s life.
“‘One day you’ll come home with no eye because you wanted to help someone who’s blind,’ my son Tristan jokes,” Pamela laughs.
It’s true – she’d like to help again, but there’s nothing more she can give. Instead she’s focusing on raising awareness about live organ donation.
“It’s a big deal and I get that people are scared by it but it’s the most fulfilling, positive thing I’ve ever done,” she says.
For more information about organ donation visit donatelife.gov.au.
This article was first published on KidSpot and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
Lead image source: Instagram/spursfirstieteacher