Heather Ogburn Stokes began drinking when she was just 11 years old, but she’s turned her life around after a string of heartbreaking events.
Heather Ogburn Stokes began drinking when she was just 11 years old, but she’s turned her life around after a string of heartbreaking events.

Former addict’s jaw-dropping new look

A woman who once consumed 24 bottles of beer and two bottles of wine per day has turned her life around after overcoming her alcohol addiction.

Heather Ogburn Stokes, 36, began drinking when she was just 11-years-old and thought she'd never be able to have children of her own as her health had started to decline.

And after six miscarriages, Ms Stokes and husband, Justin, 36, thought their lifelong dreams of beginning a family were non-existent.

Incredibly, the couple's wishes finally came true last year following Ms Stokes' decision quit alcohol.

After going down the IVF route, Ms Stokes gave birth to daughter, Alice, who is 11-weeks-old.

She's also completely unrecognisable after completely changing her lifestyle.

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The mum, who now runs a treatment centre for addicts, said she took up alcohol to numb her pain.

"It was my solution and I couldn't control it," the new mum said.

"My health was declining and I was fighting for my life. Even my first miscarriage didn't stop me."

Ms Stokes decided to stop drinking in 2011 after she was arrested for driving under the influence when she crashed her car.

But, after meeting mechanic Justin and suffering six miscarriages, the birth of Alice following one round of IVF finally brought an end to her fertility nightmare.

"I've been given another chance in life," she said.

"One way or another I wanted to be a mother.

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"She's amazing, she's sassy and sweet. It was a tough pregnancy but she was worth it."

She suffered her first miscarriage in 2010.

"I wasn't healthy so I thought the loss was down to that," Ms Stokes explained.

"It was devastating and I blamed myself.

"I had two more miscarriages and thought its not meant to be but I cherished and honoured them and thought they were my angels.

"I kept just trying to push through and when I met my husband I started to feel worthy enough."

 

 

Ms Stokes, of Houston, Texas, then went on to marry Justin having discovered she'd become pregnant on their wedding night.

But she sadly miscarried for a fourth time.

"It was a fairy tale but I miscarried at two months and it hurt more," she said.

"I thought I would fight for it because I was meant to be a mum so I started researching IVF.

"The doctors found that I had clotting and I started to get discouraged because I had got pregnant on my own, I just couldn't carry them."

 

 

 

 

After turning to IVF, the couple went on to have a baby girl.

"I got pregnant again naturally and thought this must be our miracle baby but miscarried again and it was devastating.

"It was happening back to back but I held onto hope.

"I thought there was a reason we were going through this and just left it up to God.

"Now I've got Alice, she's my miracle girl. I thank God every day for my beautiful miracle child."

For support with addiction in Australia, contact the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

Originally published as Former addict's jaw-dropping new look