Husband gives up his dream car to buy his wife a gastric band

The bride dropped seven dress sizes after the operation

Gemma Daka

by Eden-Olivia Lord |
Published on

Like most brides Gemma Daka had her insecurities on her wedding day however she was so embarrassed about her weight that she refused to look at her wedding pictures because of her size 24 wedding dress.

Gemma had previously attempted to get a gastric band on the NHS but had been rejected because at 47.2, her BMI was less than the 50 needed to qualify for NHS funding. So when the mum-of-two to Maisie, 10 and Bella, seven and her partner Flamur Daka married in August 2013, she was a size 24 and weight 21st.

When the 28-year-old saw her wedding snaps, she compared herself to "a whale in a gown" and because of her insecurity she accused her husband of looking at slimmer women. Gemma confessed: "On my wedding day, I forgot all about my bulging bingo wings.

"Then we went on honeymoon to Lanzarote and it was all sand, sea and you-know-what… But when I came home, I saw the professional photos.

"I was disgusted. 'I look absolutely horrendous. Like a whale,' I told Flam."

Gemma Daka
©Press Association

Gemma packed her wedding photos in a box and hid them away and even though she was ashamed of her weight she continued to overeat. She admitted that she adored junk food and would gorge on McDonald’s four times a week and a full English was a morning ritual, too.

"I’d have a couple of Wispa bars and a pack of biscuits, eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes every morning.

"Every time I tried to diet, I’d fall off the wagon," she recalled.

Gemma Daka
©Press Association

Gemma even admitted on nights out with her friends she was insecure: "My friends would wear bodycon size 12 dresses and would look fab.

"I wore jeans and a blazer it was obvious I was the odd one out."

She remembers the hurt she felt on one occasion when a man described her as a "fat cow eating a burger."

“I didn’t blame my pretty pals, it wasn’t their fault, but I was sick of my size. My calves were so big I couldn’t fit them into wellies.

“I couldn’t bear to go clothes shopping, because everything in my size looked like a tent.”

Gemma Daka
©Press Association

However, everything changed in September 2013, when her husband Flamur offered his wife a solution – £4,500 to go private and get a gastric band. He decided to give £4,500 - he had saved up for his dream car, a Mercedes – so his wife so she could get the surgery she wanted.

In December 2013, she underwent an hour-and-a-half long gastric band surgery at Dolan Park Hospital in Birmingham and within 13 months, she’d lost 10 stone and now weighs half the amount she weighed when she got married – 10 stone 6.

Gemma Daka
©Press Association

Now Gemma can eat solids, although she can only manage tiny portions. A week after surgery, she had lost a stone and by May 2014, she had bought her first outfit from the high-street – a size 14 dress for a wedding. Then in the August of 2014 she bought a bikini.

The mum-of-two admitted she's tried on her old wedding dress – and was amazed by the difference: "I put it on and I laced it as tight as it would go and I still had to hold it up. That felt amazing."

Gemma Daka
©Press Association

Gemma who is eternally grateful to Flam has confessed: "He [Flamur] has a whole new wife.

"My life’s changed. My husband has me back – and he couldn’t be happier."

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