'The real me is shining through, at last'

Last year the Daily Mirror launched the biggest competition we've ever run - the chance for three readers to win a new life. We were flooded with entries from those who wanted to take up our opportunity of winning cosmetic surgery at the Harley Medical Group, dental treatment, a new hairstyle and coaching on their diet and lifestyle - all absolutely free. Last year the Daily Mirror launched the biggest competition we've ever run - the chance for three readers to win a new life. We were flooded with entries from those who wanted to take up our opportunity of winning cosmetic surgery at the Harley Medical Group, dental treatment, a new hairstyle and coaching on their diet and lifestyle - all absolutely free. Today we unveil the first of our New You winners - Lindy Jacklin. For most of her life Lindy has been plagued with low self-esteem because she has hated her nose and teeth. She would hold her hand over her face continually if talking to someone she didn't know. These before-and-after pictures show the physical difference our competition has made for Lindy, a 43-year-old divorced cleaner, from Sawston in Cambridgeshire. And here, Lindy - who has grown up children, Martyn, 24, and Kirsty, 19, and a ten-year-old son, Zak - reveals how the makeover has changed the way she feels. Lindy's Story - "Are you the one with the Barbara Streisand?" Lindy was 40 when she received this hurtful text from a man who was meant to meet her for a blind date. But as she read those cruel words, she felt like the bullied schoolgirl she had been so many years before. The callous question flashed up on Lindy's mobile phone after she'd been waiting an hour in her local pub waiting for her date to appear. "At first I thought he just hadn't bothered to show up," she says, her voice shaking at the memory of her humiliation. "But when I read that text, I realised he'd taken one look at my nose and decided not to even say hello." Lindy says it has been the story of her life. "At school one boy in particular would shout: �Look out! Here comes The Nose!' whenever he saw me," she recalls. But while it may have seemed like a great laugh to him, Lindy was so traumatised by the endless jibes, she did everything she could to get out of going to school. "Because I missed out on so many lessons, I fell behind with my schoolwork, and never caught up," she explains. "I left school with just three low-grade GCSEs - something I've always regretted." Worse still, Lindy developed Crohn's disease - a stomach condition that can be made worse by stress - and she still suffers from it to this day. "It was ironic really," she says. "I spent all that time pretending to have an upset stomach. Then, when I was 15, I was in and out of hospital with Crohn's." And it wasn't just her health and education that were affected by the cruel insults. Lindy's dreams of becoming a beautician were dashed, too, as her self-esteem ebbed away on the back of the nasty name-calling in the playground. "I pictured clients walking into the salon, taking one look at me and thinking: �What's that ugly woman doing here?' I didn't even have the confidence to do the course, so that dream went well out of the window." Instead, Lindy became a cleaner. "You don't need any qualifications for that and I could get on with it without worrying about meeting new people," she says. "I've always felt so self-conscious around strangers that avoiding them was a full-time job. Unless I was talking to someone I knew well, I always covered my nose and mouth with my hands." But now, all that has changed. Lindy grins from ear to ear - showing off her new, dazzling smile and nose to full effect - as she describes how her attitude to life has been transformed since winning our competition. "I'm following my dreams at last and doing something positive," she says. "I've always loved decorating, so I'm planning a new career as an interior designer and I hope to enrol on a college course next September. I've got the confidence to do it now." Lindy has also been too afraid to ever travel abroad but now she feels confident enough to fulfil a lifelong dream - to visit Rome. "I want to wander around the city, looking at architecture and statues and visiting galleries." But it's not just her looks and confidence that have had a boost. Lindy says she's happier now than she's ever been. "I feel like I'm walking around with an inner glow," she says. "So many people have said I look 10 years younger and I think that's part of the reason - if you feel happier, you look younger. "The real me is shining through at last and she's got a lot of catching up to do." How are team of experts changed Lindy's life.. NOSE The Harley Medical Group surgeon corrected the bump in Lindy's nose, made it straighter and "more feminine". LINDY'S VERDICT: "I love my new little nose. I'm amazed not many people have been able to quite put their finger on what's different, which shows what a great job The Harley Medical Group surgeon has done. It suits my face so well, it's just how I wanted it."

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