But two years later, in June 2008, she noticed a bulge sticking out of her chest, and doctors discovered part of her gastric band had moved. Surgeons recommended a whole new procedure called a sleeve gastrectomy which involved removing part of her stomach.“Jo didn’t want to do it at all – the band had worked brilliantly until now,” AJ says. “But when you’re advised by medics, it’s hard to say no.”In September 2008, Joanne flew to London but just a day after the op she was in excruciating pain. “That was the start, she was never 100% well again,” says AJ.For months, Jo could not hold down food or fluid and was in and out of hospital.
In the end she was given another gastric bypass. But she lost a lot of blood, contracted sepsis, and her bowels started leaking internally. By March 2009 she spent four days in an induced coma.Two months later, she was ­transferred to Jersey Hospital with a colostomy bag and a feeding tube. “She was depressed but we didn’t wallow,” says AJ. “We still had each other and the kids.”Joanne spent the next two years feeling unwell.In August 2012, a scan showed a hole in her lung and she was transferred by air ambulance to intensive care at ­Southampton General Hospital. But she contracted pneumonia. “I have nothing but respect for the medics there, but by then it was just too late,” says AJ. “I felt totally helpless. I couldn’t even bring myself to tell the kids how serious it was.”To keep Joanne’s spirits up, AJ and the children travelled to Southampton for a surprise visit in December.

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