AN obese child who was once dubbed the “world’s fattest girl” is now unrecognisable.
At one stage, Jessica Gaude tipped the scales at 420lbs and was so overweight her legs couldn’t support her and she had to roll around on the floor to get about.
Mum Carolyn, from Knoxville, Tennessee, stocked piled the food for her daughter who wanted to eat every two hours and would throw a tantrum if she didn’t get the food she wanted.
Meanwhile, Jessica would gorge on around 10,000 calories a day, often eating 15 hamburgers a day, along with chips, white bread and lots of chocolate.
Her intake in a single day was the equivalent of a year's worth of junk food.
Doctors believed her bones were significantly deformed as a result of excess body weight and warned that the extreme “diet” was putting her life in danger.
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Her mum, meanwhile, claimed that “she never realised she was big” and would have happily “eaten herself to death.”
Eventually, Jessica developed trouble breathing and was rushed to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in a critical condition.
“All parents make mistakes, there’s no perfect parents,” Carolyn said. “But I made mistakes that could have cost my child’s life – and I have major guilt.”
Child Protective Services then got involved and Jessica was transferred to an obesity clinic in Virginia where she was put on a strict diet and exercise programme.
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Thanks to the help she lost an impressive 320lbs without surgery.
“I’m very proud of her,” Carolyn added.
However, Jessica would still had 20lbs of loose skin and was constantly fighting the urge to indulge in snacks.
Jessica later admitted to being “addicted to food” although Carolyn has quickly banned her from eating between meals – stipulating that she was not allowed to have snacks without permission.
To help with Jessica’s weight loss, Carolyn was ordered to attend parenting classes and now she monitors her daughter’s diet carefully.
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Trips to the local supermarket involve buying low-calorie foods, while Jessica also attended physical therapy sessions five times a week.
Despite the weight loss she still continued to have difficulty walking because her excessive weight bowed her legs.
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