AN ALLTWEN woman has spoken about the trauma she suffered after agreeing to have her jaw wired shut to stop her eating too much.

Denise Cann took the drastic measure at the young age of 18 after speaking to her doctors, who agreed to wire her jaw shut, meaning she could only consume liquid food through a small gap between her teeth.

But Denise said the procedure turned into a living nightmare that she was soon to regret.

“I was glad to have it done to be honest, I had struggled with my weight for so long,” said Denise.

“I had metal covers put over my top and bottom teeth which were cemented together with little metal hooks coming out. Thin wires were wrapped around those hooks to hold my mouth in place.

"But soon after having it done I began to feel very unwell, very weak and I didn't seem to be losing a great deal of weight at all.

"I was unable to yawn or sneeze properly, my jaw would ache and I would long to be able to open and stretch my jaw."

But after finding out she was pregnant and suffering terrible morning sickness Denise eventually had it removed a month later.

Now aged 56, Denise recalls how she put on more weight after giving birth to her daughter Gemma.

“My confidence was so low at this point and I tried every fad diet going to try and lose the weight,” she said.

But it was when Denise reached 50 and was now a mum-of-three and grandmother-of three, that she began having problems with her health so she decided it was time to change.

“I couldn’t take my grandchildren to the beach or the park because of stomach problems which meant I needed to be near a toilet. That’s when I knew I had to do something for my own health."

Denise was encouraged to join her local Slimming World group and she says she hasn’t looked back since.

“I was convinced nothing would work for me,” she said. "But it has changed my whole life."

Since following the Slimming World plan Denise has dropped from 16st to 11st in five years.

“My health has improved and I’m like a new woman full of confidence and I can take the grandchildren out more now.”

After losing the weight Denise has now become a Slimming World consultant and runs her own groups in Pontardawe and Ammanford.

“I have seen such a difference with how I live and I wanted to help other people who battle with weight loss.”

Denise holds her Slimming World groups in Mount Elim Evangelical Church, Pontardawe, on Mondays at 5.30pm, and in the Amman Centre, Ammanford, on Tuesdays at 9.30am and 11.30am.