Her lat­est bat­tle won by Ni­cola

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Oliv­erClayRWWN

ARUNCORN woman – who was bru­tally as­saulted as a tod­dler leav­ing her wheel­chair-bound for her en­tire adult life, and with crip­pling rheuma­toid arthri­tis – has tri­umphed over her lat­est bat­tle.

Ni­cola Ni­cholls, 38, was just two-anda-half when, with her tiny cousin, she wan­dered out of the back gar­den of her aunt’s house.

The chil­dren went into a nearby play­ing field, where Ni­cola was sav­agely beaten by an older boy and left un­con­scious with lifechang­ing in­juries.

As she grew older and her joints started to seize up as a re­sult of the hor­ren­dous at­tack, Ni­cola re­solved that her bub­bly per­son­al­ity and sharp mind would com­pen­sate for her fail­ing body.

By the age of 10 she was wheel­chair bound but ut­terly de­ter­mined that her in­juries would not hold her back from liv­ing as nor­mal a life as pos­si­ble.

She went on to gain full-time em­ploy­ment and by the age of 23 had mar­ried hus­band Andy, a sys­tems an­a­lyst and ma­gi­cian, who she met by chance on an on­line chat room. The cou­ple have a son, Har­ri­son, 12. How­ever the pro­gres­sively wors­en­ing rheuma­toid arthri­tis made it vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble for Ni­cola to ex­er­cise and as a con­se­quence her weight bal­looned.

The con­stant bat­tle with the scales was be­com­ing a part of her life which ● was start­ing to d de­press h her, over and d above the trauma of her dis­abil­ity.

When her friend and for­mer work col­league Emma Kennedy launched Slim­ming World classes at The Heath Busi­ness And Tech­ni­cal Park Ni­cola promptly de­cided this was the chance she needed to en­hance her shape and in­crease her life ex­pectancy, giv­ing her many more happy years with her fam­ily. Ni­cola signed up to Slim­ming World on Jan­uary 18 weigh­ing 12 stone, four pounds.

In her first week she promptly shed seven pounds, and the weight con­tin­ued to drop off.

She had set her tar­get to get down to seven stone four pounds. Now, eight months later, Ni­cola reached her tar­get by tip­ping the scales at that fig­ure, and won the Slim­ming World Five Stone Award, at­tribut­ing part of her suc­cess to the mo­ti­va­tion and sup­port she gained.

Ni­cola said: “I started Slim­ming World feel­ing re­ally un­sure.

“I didn’t know if it would work and I didn’t know how it would work with me be­ing a full-time wheel­chair user and un­able to walk, let alone ex­er­cise or even get weighed at class.

“How­ever, my con­sul­tant Emma was amaz­ing and told me that they could en­ter my weight man­u­ally if I could get weighed elsewhere such as at the doc­tors or at home, if I could man­age it.

“I rolled – pun in­tended – in to my first class weigh­ing 12 stone, four pounds.

“I’m ashamed to ad­mit that num­ber but I know I’ll never see it again!”

Be­fore: Ni­cola at 12st 4lbs

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