By Rebecca Drew
THIS BRITISH mum is crowdfunding for a life changing tummy tuck after an emergency C-section left her looking permanently pregnant which causes her to get stopped in the street despite losing all her baby weight and weighing just eight-stone.
Garage receptionist, Cheryl Castle (35), from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK, had her C-section in August 2011 when her son, Liam was born but her baby belly never went down. Cheryl was told that despite having her core muscles split during pregnancy, she’s just under the NHS’ required criteria for an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck as it is considered as a cosmetic case.
For over five years, Cheryl has been dieting and working hard up to six times a week in the gym, attending boxing, HIIT, Tabata and core classes. She tracks her macros and calories and drinks three-litres of water a day. After her C-section, Cheryl was 9st 5lbs and thanks to her exercise regime, she now weighs just 8st 2lbs.
Despite this, her tummy still looks ‘pregnant’ which has caused Cheryl to feel depressed and suffer with low self-esteem and she says that looking in the mirror disgusts her.
“I had an emergency C-section in August 2011 and since then my stomach has remained pregnant looking,” said Cheryl.
“It makes me feel very depressed and I have low self-esteem! I have lost a lot of confidence and I struggle to keep positive. I can’t even decide what to wear on a daily basis as looking in the mirror disgusts me.
“Strangers often congratulate me on being pregnant and the reaction when I correct them is awkwardness. Most people don’t know what to say or where to look.
“The NHS have refused to fund the operation due to living in Buckinghamshire and it’s referred to as a postcode lottery. This area is considered a ‘rich’ area and does not get additional funding for cases like mine.
“I feel at a loss – I can’t possibly do anything more, I exercise hard, eat well and still nothing has worked. I feel like a failure. I feel fat and unattractive.”
So far, Cheryl has managed to raise £790 of the £7,393 she needs for the operation on Go Fund Me. She says the surgery will change her life and she wants to break the taboo about issues around pregnancy and childbirth.
“The operation will make such a difference to my life – I will feel like a normal person again, I can lay on a beach, take my child swimming not having to worry about how I look,” she added.
“There will be no more being paranoid and I’ll get my confidence back.
“My advice to anyone else in this situation is to keep fighting and don’t give up, don’t be shy about asking for help.
“Lots of woman have issues related to child birth and pregnancy and it shouldn’t be a taboo subject.”
For more information see www.gofundme.com/post-pregnancy-operation