Essex 'party girl' claims transatlantic romance saved her life

Party girl, 27, who would eat FIVE takeaways a day after Prosecco binges reveals how a transatlantic romance ‘saved her life’ – as she shows off her amazing transformation after losing 4st and ditching booze

  • Kyra Dawson, 27, from Loughton, Essex, had an unhealthy partying lifestyle
  • Her weight ballooned to 16 stone and she began hiding how much she partied
  • Hunter Shepard, from Arizona, added her on social media due to similar interests
  • Pair fell in love and they have recently become engaged and turned lives around

A self-confessed former Essex ‘party girl’ has claimed her transatlantic romance saved her life and helped her wave goodbye to her wild lifestyle.

Kyra Dawson, 27, from Loughton, who has shared shocking before and after photos, didn’t realise she had a problem and just thought she enjoyed a good time as she necked bottles of Prosecco then binged on up to five takeaways a day while hungover.

As her boozy antics spiralled out of control, her weight ballooned to 16 stone and she began hiding how much she partied from her adoptive mum, Marie Dawson.

However after a chance plea on Facebook for a man in May, her call was answered by Hunter Shepard, from Arizona, who had added her on social media after spotting their similar interests.

Kyra Dawson, 27, from Loughton, claims her transatlantic romance saved her life and helped her wave goodbye to her wild lifestyle. Pictured, when her boozy lifestyle left her eyes bloated and badly bloodshot in 2018

Kyra didn’t realise she had a problem and just thought she enjoyed a good time as she necked bottles of Prosecco then binged on up to five takeaways a day while hungover. Pictured, posing for a photo when she was 16 stone

In May, Hunter Shepard (pictured together), from the US, added Kyra on social media after spotting their similar interests

As Hunter revealed he had overcome his own addictions, Kyra fell in love with her American hero’s caring nature and took his advice to reign in her unhealthy lifestyle. Pictured, Hunter at the depths of his addiction

As Hunter revealed he had overcome his own addictions, Kyra fell in love with her American hero’s caring nature and took his advice to reign in her unhealthy lifestyle – and ‘hasn’t even thought about having a drink’ for the last couple of months.

Their relationship quickly blossomed and the 26-year-old came to stay with Kyra for six months earlier this month – and they became engaged on Sunday.

Incredible photos show the pair’s transition, with Kyra’s eyes appearing bloated and badly bloodshot after a weekend of partying in the before snap, and having lost four stone and looking like a different person in a second. 

Meanwhile, images show Hunter covered in scabs and looking gaunt from the depths of his addictions, while recent snaps see him happy and healthy, hugging Kyra.

Kyra, pictured after her four stone weight loss, wearing her engagement ring shortly after Hunter proposed on Sunday

As a teenager Kyra began hiding alcohol from her adoptive mum and in her 20s her wild lifestyle spiralled out of control, resulting in her ballooning to 16 stone. Pictured, posing for a photo on a night out during her ‘party girl’ days

‘I didn’t know I had a problem, I just thought I was a party girl. I loved drinking and going out partying,’ explained Kyra. 

‘For at least two years I was drinking loads of bottles of wine and prosecco, then when I was hungover I would have like five takeaways in a day, maybe even more. Then the day after that I would drink again, and it was like a cycle. That was my life.

‘I realised I needed to change, but I relapsed a lot because I didn’t have support. But now Hunter’s like my rock.

‘Since he’s been here I honestly haven’t even thought about having a drink. I have a fantastic sponsor who supports me, but most of it is because of him. He’s saved my life.

‘At the beginning I kind of just thought it was a bit of fun. Getting to know someone. I didn’t think it would turn into something serious like this.’

As a teenager Kyra began hiding alcohol from her adoptive mum and in her 20s her wild lifestyle spiralled out of control, resulting in her ballooning to 16 stone.

After her adoptive mum died in 2018, Kyra realised she needed to change her ways, but she struggled to turn her back on the booze.

Kyra, pictured during her partying days, said she ‘hasn’t even thought about having a drink’ for the last couple of months

Kyra pictured with her adoptive mum Marie Dawson before she passed away in 2018

Meanwhile, Hunter overcame his addiction in 2018 and works as business developer for a rehabilitation centre while also offering help to addicts looking to recover like he did.

He added Kyra on Facebook when he spotted her in an addiction recovery group but only plucked up the courage to message her a year later when she jokingly posted she was ‘looking for a man’.

‘He came across as very confident,’ said Kyra. ‘He was very cheeky, very flirty and that was exciting. We were talking pretty much every single day and were video calling each other.

‘There wasn’t even anything about our recovery when we started talking, but he told me he was helping people get into rehab and then the conversation came up.

‘The fact that I knew he was helping people and that he had a huge understanding of addiction too. That’s so attractive, and that’s when I fell for him.

‘He told me my mum wouldn’t want me to be in this situation, she’d want you to be sober and have a beautiful life and I decided he was right.’

Four months later and Hunter touched down at Heathrow Airport to visit his new girlfriend, and the two are currently living in a room she rents in Essex while she focuses on her recovery.

Hunter covered in scabs and looking gaunt from the depths of his addictions (pictured)

Kyra (pictured, now) revealed that for at least two years she was drinking loads of bottles of wine and prosecco, then when she was hungover she would have like takeaways in a day

Hunter added Kyra on Facebook when he spotted her in an addiction recovery group but only plucked up the courage to message her a year later when she jokingly posted she was ‘looking for a man’ (pictured, together)

The 27-year-old admits she was worried about how well they’d click when they finally met in person, but it soon became apparent she didn’t have anything to worry about.

‘I was so worried he might have been a bit shorter than me, or he might have looked a bit different from seeing him on a screen,’ said Kyra, ‘I was really, really nervous.’

‘It felt like Christmas, and when we met we clicked instantly. I felt like I’d known him for years and years, but I was incredibly nervous.

‘We’re just so comfortable with each other, like Hunter could be sitting on the other side of the bed and I’ll be drawing.

‘Sometimes we annoy each other but it’s not a big deal and then we make up within like ten minutes.

‘I’m not the easiest person to deal with. I’m very, very stroppy and I get frustrated quickly, but he’s a calming influence on me. It probably helps that he’s got a lovely American accent.’

Hunter (pictured now) overcame his addiction in 2018 and works as business developer for a rehabilitation centre while also offering help to addicts looking to recover like he did

Dad-of-one Hunter will return home to Yuma, Arizona, in December, but the pair are trying to work out how they can live together long-term (pictured, together)

Dad-of-one Hunter will return home to Yuma, Arizona, in December, but the pair are trying to work out how they can live together long-term.

Kyra said: ‘There’s no way he could move here because he has his daughter, which I appreciate, but I only have my friends here, so there’s nothing that’s keeping me back here.

‘I’d probably go over there with a holiday visa, and see how we get on, but I would definitely consider moving over there if that had to be done.

‘He gives me so much hope for a positive future. We have such a good friendship and have loads of plans for things we want to do.

‘I’m enjoying life being sober so much more than when I was drinking and I never thought I’d be able to say that because drinking was my life.’

Hunter added: ‘For me helping anyone find freedom from addiction is what I live for. I literally spend every day helping people. So when it comes to helping Kyra it’s even more personal than it already is for me.

‘However, she’s done this for herself I just pushed her in the right direction. It’s unbelievable what love can do. I believe what she needed was someone to love her and have faith in her.’

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