“Jo was sitting on a bench. She was about 37st but I wasn’t looking at her weight. Her personality just shone out.”The pair swapped numbers and started dating. “Joanne’s weight never bothered me. But I understood that it was damaging her health,” says AJ.In March 1999, Joanne travelled to St George’s Hospital, South London, for her ­operation on the NHS. Five months later, AJ proposed. “The weight was falling off her and she was glowing. I’d arranged to have some pictures taken and asked her to sit down. Then I said ‘Will you marry me?’ She said yes and started crying.”
A few months later, Joanne discovered she was pregnant. And in May 2000, the couple tied the knot at the register office in St Helier. “She looked radiant with flowers in her hair,” says AJ. Joanne gave birth to Harvey a month later and a year after that, AJ moved to Jersey. Honor was born the following year.“We were one big happy family,” says warehouse worker AJ. “We’d jump in the car and go to theme parks or the beach“Joanne continued to lose weight and by 2006, she had dropped to 8st 5lb. “Jo looked amazing and it was just so nice to see how happy she felt in herself.”

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