A SINGLE mother from Dengkil, Selangor, who suffers from morbid obesity hopes to reduce her weight through bariatric surgery and be independent again.
Theanmoli Ramachandran, 40, who weighs about 180kg, said doctors suggested surgery to alter her digestive system to lose weight.
“The doctors said my main medical problem was obesity. I also have other health issues including bronchial asthma, hypertension, severe obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus and extensive pulmonary embolism of bilateral lungs.
“I was initially afraid to go through the surgery but now that my life depends on it, I have braved myself to do it,” she said, adding that her legs were weak and wobbly when she stood up.
“I need to hold on to something to move from one place to another and always need someone by my side,” she said, hoping the surgery would be successful to enable her to work and care for her children.
Theanmoli’s story went viral in May after a video was shared on social media showing her seven-year-old son and daughter, five, having the mammoth task of caring for her needs for the past two years.
An online portal reported that as of May 11, RM23,000 was raised to support her.
Theanmoli said the funds were enough to settle her outstanding debts, namely rental and utility bills.
“My son lives with another family who treats him like their own since he was a baby. He visits me every week.
“My partner left me five years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter,” said Theanmoli who lives with her daughter in a two-room rented house with a couple.
“The couple helps me with my needs such as preparing food and looking after my daughter.
“But I cannot be dependent on others forever. I need to get back on my feet to work and hopefully get a place of my own,” she said.
Theanmoli’s story also caught the attention of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun, who visited her on May 13.
Following her visit, the Welfare Department approved an additional RM500 financial assistance to the RM350 monthly welfare aid already received by Theanmoli, until May next year.
Puchong-based charitable organisation Care4U gave Theanmoli RM500 cash and essential groceries on June 25 when representatives visited her at her home.
Care4U founder Jamalluddin Sulaiman, 37, said they highlighted Theanmoli’s plight on their social media pages.
“Within a few days after the article was published, we managed to collect RM500.
“We contacted Theanmoli to determine what grocery items she needed and we have donated cooking oil, cereal, instant noodles, Milo, washing detergent and other essentials,” he said.