Brush with death inspires mum’s eight stone weight loss

Slimmer Emma Dover with sons Alex and Matthew.
Slimmer Emma Dover with sons Alex and Matthew.

A mum-of-two who faced a brush with death says losing almost eight stone has given her a new lease of life.

Emma Dover’s family were told to prepare for the worst as she battled for life whilst in a coma after developing pneumonia.

Emma with her sons before her weight loss

Emma with her sons before her weight loss

She was so poorly the Washington mum’s sons Alex, now eight, and Matthew, six, were unable to visit her, but photos of them pinned to the wall in Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital kept her strong.

In total she spent a fortnight in a coma and a following two weeks in recovery before she could return to her Oxclose home.

Emma, 32, said: “I remember feeling unwell at the time but because my little boy was ill I was more focused on looking after him than myself. I thought I’d fight it off until one night I collapsed at home and my eldest son, who was six at the time, ran for help.

“Next thing I know I am waking up in intensive care having been in a coma for two weeks. I was on a ventilator, dialysis machine, and feeding tube.”

Slimmer Emma Dover.

Slimmer Emma Dover.

It was battling back from the illness in early January 2016 that spurred Emma into joining a local Slimming World class that November at Washington Mind in Columbia, where she has since become the group’s Woman of the Year 2017.

The sales assistant for Sainsbury’s said: “I knew I was poorly, but when I found out my boys were put on standby to say goodbye to me that was it. The weight didn’t cause my illness but something changed, mentally changed. It took me a while to feel normal again but when I did I joined Slimming World.

“I had gained weight over the years, the usual story of the pounds creeping on over the years, and had tried to lose weight before without long term success, until now.”

To date Emma has lost 7st11lbs, dropping from 18st10lbs to 10st12lbs and she says she feels like a new woman.

Emma before her weight loss

Emma before her weight loss

She said: “I’m a completely different person now and people walk past me in the street and don’t even recognise me. I’d always taken the boys places, but before I’d always sit down on a bench and watch them play, but now I’m on the grass, getting involved.”

Emma managed to shift the weight through a combination of healthy eating and exercise.

“I was eating rubbish before, but I’ve changed how I make food now. I don’t even own a fryer anymore,” she said. “I was really nervous about starting a slimming class at first but a friend encouraged me to go along and in my first week I lost 10lbs.”

She added: “Losing the weight I have not only done for myself but, most importantly, for the boys. They are so happy, they check to see if I have a new Slimming World certificate on the fridge after school and always ask if I have lost weight this week.

Before and after

Before and after

“I always get a ‘well done Mummy’. Just seeing their faces when I’m chasing them or their smiles of well done is all I’ll ever need.”

•Lynne Pittiglio runs Slimming World at Washington Mind. For more details contact Lynne on 07960 750 886.

Emma’s Food Diary


Breakfast: sugary cereal

Snacks: chocolate biscuits and crisps

Slimmer Emma Dover with sons Alex and Matthew.

Slimmer Emma Dover with sons Alex and Matthew.

Lunch: bacon sandwich on white bread

Evening meal: Pie and chips or chicken and waffles


Breakfast: Weetabix

Snacks: fruit salad

Lunch: chicken stir fry with salad

Evening meal: Slimming World cottage pie with green beans