Deirdre O’Donovan, 29, who weighs 17st 11 lbs, was one of more than 500 people unhappy with their weight who applied to appear in the show’s seventh series, due to be screened in January. The show’s host, Kathryn Thomas, called to Deirdre’s home in Carrignavar, Co Cork, yesterday, to tell her she had been picked as one of the five Operation Transformation leaders.
Deirdre, who works part-time in the Mercy Hospital, Cork, as a night-time care assistant, was in her training gear at the time as she was just about to go for a walk.
She told RTÉ’s John Murray the show afforded her a great opportunity to change the bad habits she had picked up over the last couple of years.
Operation Transformation’s doctor, Ciara Kelly, said Deirdre was chosen as a leader because, with a body mass index of 49, she represented a group of people who are super morbidly obese.
Dr Kelly said Deirdre’s blood pressure was in the “upper limits of normal” and her cholesterol was elevated.
The GP said she was most concerned that Deirdre’s was developing arthritis because of her weight.
Deirdre said her biggest weakness was takeaways.
Kathryn will spend this week travelling to the homes of the five selected leaders to let them know they have been chosen.