REBECCA FOLLOW

02 Jan 2006, 12:33:48 PM

Reporter Andrea Burns

Rebecca "I'm so scared I'm going to die and I don't want to die, I need to have the surgery done and we can't- afford it"

With two gorgeous kids, thirty two year old mum Rebecca Tarpey has every thing to live for. But at one hundred and fifty kilos she'd be lucky to see Mitchell or Maddison even reach high school. She told us she believes she's addicted to food.

Rebecca says "I feel like I'm losing a battle, food is controlling me and I just can't handle that any more"

Diets - she's tried them all, "jenny craig, easy slim, ww, atkins, I've tried xenical, fibre tablets"

Rebecca believed stomach banding was her best chance of staying alive, but paying out hundreds each weeks for therapy for her two children with special needs, the ten thousand dollar price tag was beyond her and husband Jason.

"I want to watch my kids grow old, I want to grow old with my husband" Rebecca says.

It seems a guardian angel was watching...

hi rebecca, my name's freda, I do believe in fate and I think now you might"

Freda is a fifty eight year old retiree from Queensland.."So I was cleaning out my records and CDs which are pretty old and I came across one that said Impossible Dreams by Roger Whittaker...And somehow I liked it so I wrote it down on a piece of paperand put it on the table and forgot about it."

Freda had promised this year she'd live a little - then the tears of a stranger touched her heart.

"I thought what a very pretty young lady that is. She shouldn't be crying...And I'd look back at the piece of paper on the table that had Impossible Dreams and then I'd look back at you on the TV. Back at the paper. And when the segment finished I just got up and rang Channel Seven."

now rebecca we've got something to show you, this was sent in as a result of our last story

We told Rebecca it was a self help video...

Freda says "so I thought perhaps I could make your impossible dream come true"

Initially Rebecca didn't realise what Freda was telling her..

"you do not ever have to pay me back.. the only thing I would like to know is maybe the people at channel 7 will photograph you receiving the cheque or something so I can feel you over the television, your happiness"

Freda says "so rebecca all the best to you and please take care"

"with that video, freda sent us a cheque for 10 000 dollars for your surgery - cry oh my goodness and what she wanted was for you to have a fantastic new year - oh and as she said, this is your chance-oh my god, I can't even talk - that is awesome, thank you so much"

Ten thousand dollars cash sent from one mum to another - no strings.

Rebecca says "Thank you , you've saved my life, thank you..I cannot thank that lady enough, what an angel"

Why Freda gave Rebecca the money is another amazing part of this story. Six months ago, Freda's pilot son crashed his plane - and lived.

He was "three and a half thousand feet up, 3 minutes to sun down and he hit the dirt at about 150 - into the trees and he still walked away"

Freda's so thankful - she wanted to pay that good luck forward...

"Why? Because I care about people I'm OK. My kids are OK. One son's still alive and he shouldn't be. Just wanted to do something for someone who needed a chance in life."

Now remember, Freda and Rebecca are strangers - this is, their first conversation.

Rebecca says "I feel like somebody's giving me my life back...and thank you for having the faith in me, I will make you so proud"

Freda says "I've experienced the joy of being given a second chance to have my son. And I'd like someone else to have a second chance at life again."

Jason "she goes out of her way to give until it hurts and for this to happen it's just awesome, thank you"

"you're my little living angel, thank you from the bottom of my heart" Rebecca says

Dr Watson "good morning rebecca, I'm dr watson nice to meet you"

Doctor Stephen Watson is a laproscopic surgeon, specialising in stomach banding. He offered to see Rebecca during his holidays. Dr Watson explains that the stomach band essentially partitiions off the stomach - making it impossible to fit in too much food. Results, he says, for patients like Rebecca are impressive - and life saving.

Dr Watson says "she certainly appears to be a very suitable patient, she's very motivated..she's very well informed, already she knows a number of patients who've had this operation before"

As a public patient, Rebecca could have been waiting for ages for the operation. Dr Watson agrees to surgery, within weeks.

"I'm just so excited and I want to thank Freda so much"

The kindness of a strangers ensuring a very Happy New Year.

Freda says "So I thought perhaps I could make your impossible dream come true...And I hope it does. I wish you luck umm I wish everything for you."

Mr Stephen Watson

General & Laparoscopic Surgeon

www.obesitysurgery.net.au

1800 816 556