Siblings shortlisted for the Op Trans challenge

by Sylvia Pownall

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]A brother and sister from Baldoyle are among a shortlist of 20 aspiring leaders hoping to be picked for RTE’s reality weight loss show Operation Transformation.

Ex-rugby player Conor Byrne (26) and his swim teacher sister Lyndsey (33) both took part in an assessment day to see if they make the final cut.

Conor tips the scales at 18st 11lb, while Lyndsey weighs in at 14st 13lb, and both said they would love to start the New Year by shedding a few pounds.

Conor was a keen sportsman, winning a boxing title at 16 and captaining the Leinster Rugby Metro team by the time he was 18.

His dreams of a life in Australia were shattered after he had to return home for emergency back surgery.

He said: “I’m incredibly proud of both of us to have made it this far. I am just a normal 26-year-old who has had a hard couple of years and let it get the better of me.

“Recently, I found out I was born with a condition where the shock absorbers between the discs in my spine are thin, so carrying this weight puts extra pressure on them.

“Our Ma [Yvonne] has our back and has full faith in both of us, so whatever happens she is proud of us putting ourselves out to trying to make a positive change in our lives.”

Two years ago, Lyndsey discovered she was pregnant, but at 19 weeks a pre-natal scan revealed her baby’s skull wasn’t forming properly (a condition known as anencephaly) and he wouldn’t survive long after birth.

She had to make the difficult decision to seek a medical abortion in Liverpool in 2016 and turned to food to help her get through the loss of her baby boy.

She said: “I hope OT helps me change my way of dealing with stressful situations. My mam is so proud of me applying. I only told her after I got the first phone call; I think it secretly inspired my brother to apply.

“I think the rest of our friends and family would think we really deserve it and be so happy for us.”

The pair will find out in coming weeks whether they make it through to the show which is being filmed on location at Bremore Castle in Balbriggan.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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