A FORMER lorry driver has found a “new lease of life” by shedding six stone ­— after a major health scare.

Graeme Longworth, 55, suffered a major stroke in October 2017, and weighed in at more than 24 stone after leaving hospital.

The former lorry driver lost the ability to do his job after his stroke, and knew that something needed to change.

He said: "I had to lose weight, there was no choice. Almost dying is a big kick in the behind.

"My journey is not over yet, I still suffer from my stroke and pains and numbness down my left side are a constant thing.

"I’m still improving to walk, I can’t go far. I had to sell my car as I couldn’t control my clutch so I’m reduced to public transport plus I lost my HGV licence."

Graeme lost the weight after attending Weight Watchers meetings.

His wife, 38-year-old Andrea, was already a member and encouraged him to join her at the Bolton Town Centre Workshop.

Graeme's health restraints prevent him from exercising, so his weight loss has been the result of dietary changes.

He added: “I can still eat all the things I’ve always had, just in proper portions now. I never really had to give anything up and it’s so easy to stick with it.

“Every Saturday after our class, me and my wife treat ourselves to the cafe, but now instead of full English I rather like poached eggs.

“It has given me a new lease of life – a life I'd forgotten about. I’ve not felt like this for about 20 years.”

Graeme hopes that his story can inspire others to change their lifestyle – as he is now proudly able to buy clothes in "regular" shops without having to seek out stores that stock sizes for larger men.

His WW coach, Jacqui Camerons, said: “Graeme is an inspiration to so many people. He has overcome a great deal and always has a smile on his face."