However, the 53-year-old mother of two proved the medics wrong by learning to walk normally again and running distances, too.
But when her marriage broke down six years ago, the Cronulla, NSW, resident found herself at rock bottom and turned to food for comfort.
“I lost confidence in myself,” she told WHO.
“I felt sick, tired, sad and ugly, and at my heaviest I weighed more than my dad.”
Tired of feeling “claustrophobic in her own body”, Vassilacos joined Vision Personal Training in a bid to turn her life around.
She worked out twice a week with her trainer Shawn doing weight training and was also given a nutritional plan for her body type.
Almost 12 months later, Vassilacos has shed close to 40kg and dropped five dress sizes through her weekly workouts and a mostly plant-based diet.
“I feel amazing,” said Vassilacos, who is now a size 10, has reversed her type 2 diabetes and plans to run the Gold Coast Marathon in July.
“I hope my story can help others make a change.”
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