Published: 00:01, 26 August 2014
A woman was left with the "face of an 80-year-old" after recovering from a life-saving operation.
Ruth Bailey, from Tunbridge Wells, had a hernia that had twisted her stomach into her chest - leaving her in extreme pain and vulnerable to potentially fatal internal gangrene.
The 62-year-old - who for years experienced regular reflux and severe stomach pains when she ate solid food - had at first been told the problems were due to her gallbladder, which was removed in November 2009.
Despite this, her symptoms got worse until in 2010 she was rushed into hospital and diagnosed with a hiatus hernia.
She was told if she was not operated on, her stomach could become gangrenous and she could die. In preparation for the operation, Ruth had to live on yoghurts and other soft food for five weeks.
"The weight loss stemming from the illnesses left me with a face that I hated looking at in the mirror; I looked about 80 years old..." - Ruth Bailey
But the drastic three-stone weight loss that followed left her with a drooping face and sunken eyes and an appearance older than her 62 years.
Retired office administrator Ruth said: "I had suffered with my illness for many years, and in 2010 I had the operation that saved my life.
"The weight loss stemming from the illnesses left me with a face that I hated looking at in the mirror; I looked about 80 years old.
"Having been through years of pain, and now having to watch what I eat for the rest of my life, I felt it was time to do something for me.
"I had never before considered having cosmetic surgery, I didn't think I would need it, but I felt so low about my appearance that it was something I finally felt I needed to do."
Ruth eventually took matters into her own hands and made the decision to have an upper and lower eyelift and facelift with Tunbridge Wells plastic surgeon Brent Tanner.
She added: "I was amazed at how much younger I looked. When I saw my neighbour for the first time after the op, she barely recognised me.
"From having my life saved to having it made worth living is priceless."
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