AN OVERWEIGHT nurse who got trapped between bus seats trying to get an emergency patient out of the vehicle said it was the wake up call that drove her to shed almost half her body weight.

Heather Campbell, 50, told how she was 'crushed' after hearing patients at a West of Scotland hospital describe her as, 'that wee fat nurse.'

The A&E nurse says she felt embarrassed encouraging people under her care to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle when she was "fatter than her patients," at 16 stone, 2lbs.

However, the final straw she says, came when she was trying to get an emergency patient out of a minibus, parked at the entrance to the hospital.

She recalled: "A woman had become ill on a small minibus and had collapsed, and her husband had driven to the front of the A&E doors looking for help.

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"I went out with some other nurses to bring the patient in for assessment but once I got in the back of the minibus I got stuck between the seats.

"I was so embarrassed and that day I said no more.

"My job is to promote a healthy lifestyle for patients that will then enable them to have a better quality of life but how could I do that when I was fatter than my patients. Sometimes, I overheard patients say, “that wee fat nurse over there,” and this would just crush me."

Heather, who works at Ayr Hospital, signed up for WW (formerly Weight Watchers) after repeated, failed attempts to maintain any weight loss with diet clubs but this time she succeeded, going from 16stone 2lbs to 9stone 9lbs.

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Her extra large nurses uniform has now been swapped for an extra small and she's known as the "skinny nurse."

Heather, who is from Forehill, in South Ayrshire, said: "I had joined WW many times before, lost a few stone and thenstopped going as I thought I could do it myself.

"But like a bad penny, weight would go back on and a little more than before.

"This time I was determined that I would lose the weight and keep it of for good.

"My job is a staff nurse in the very busy A&E dept in Ayr hospital, and I was struggling with the long 12 hours shifts as my weight was taken its toll on my legs and back carrying all this extra weight and it was just so uncomfortable.

"I had two grandchildren by this time and although I thought I was a healthy overweight person I had no energy to do the things that I would love to have done with them like go to the park and run around with them.

Read more: Obese people with active commute could cut risk of early death study suggests

Heather lost weight on the WW Freestyle plan, which operates a points system for food and exercise and received support from a wellness coach. She is now volunteering as a mentor for others trying to lose weight.

She said: "I still have my treats like an ice-cream with my grandkids, and I never miss out when I’m with family or friends as I can roll over my daily’s and add to my weeklies if I have a night/day out or celebration.

"I sometimes have to look twice in the mirror to realise it’s me.

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"I feel and look years younger, I have more energy to run about with my grandchildren and even going on my grandson’s bouncy castle he had for his birthday party didn’t worry me, as I could get on and have fun without being embarrassed or out of breath.

"I can now work a 12-hour shift now without complaining of a sore back or legs, and I’m now the wee skinny nurse. I love hearing that."