I had known Shannon for over 3 years when I took this photograph. I first met her in 2010 when the speech she was delivering on childhood obesity at the press launch of a health website was so honest and open it made me cry. She was 13. I approached her to ask if I could photograph her for The Big O series (an intimate portrait of the kids behind the obesity statistics in Britain). She agreed and i have been documenting her story ever since. Shortly before her 16th birthday she told me she was going to have a gastric balloon inserted as part of a medical trial at Sheffield Children’s hospital, she was 15 and weighed over 19 stone. On the eve of the operation I visited her to take a ‘before’ picture. We did some pictures in her mum’s bedroom but it was only when she needed to ‘top up her lippy’ and opened the door to her newly decorated in leopard print wallpaper bedroom that I knew the shot was going to work.