May 6, 2014 at 10:26 AM ET
They’ve lost more than 200 pounds between them, but this mother and daughter haven’t gotten the chance to fully savor their success together — until today.
Meet Abigail Lowe and her daughter, Maile Daly. Both have struggled with weight and both have had successful weight-loss surgery. But Lowe lives in Hawaii, while Daly lives in California, so they haven’t had a chance to see each other since Daly— inspired by her mother—lost more than 140 pounds.
Enter TODAY’s "Mom’s the Word" celebration — a week of surprises for mom, including Tuesday’s joyous reunion.
Lowe thought she was invited on the show to discuss her own weight loss, not realizing Daly was waiting just off-camera to surprise her in person. When the moment came, Lowe could not stop smiling.
“Wow,” the stunned mom said, as the two embraced. “You need to talk to me so I recognize you.”
“Hi, mommy,” the daughter responded.
The pair, who kept staring at each other during the interview, sported similar hair styles and wore similar black and white dresses without having coordinated before the reunion.
“My mom — I just wanted her to have this gift and I’m just so happy that I could share it with her,” Daly said.
“I love my daughter very much,” the mom responded. “I’m so happy for you.”
In 2006, Lowe, who has always struggled with weight, had gastric bypass surgery, a procedure that makes the stomach smaller and reduces the amount of calories absorbed by the body. She went from 238 pounds to 140 pounds within 10 months of the procedure and has been able to maintain a healthy weight of 160 pounds for more than two years.
Lowe was motivated to take action by her first grandchild.
“We were together for his first birthday and I realized I loved him so much that I wanted to be around for his life to see him grow and I wanted to be active in his life,” Lowe told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie.
“So I decided that I better start getting healthy.”
She has since taken part in four Honolulu marathons, and does a lot of hiking and biking to stay active.
Inspired by her mom, Daly underwent a vertical sleeve gastrectomy last September. The surgery involves doctors removing a large portion of the stomach, limiting the amount of food a patient can eat.
Almost eight months later, she’s lost 146 pounds, though she says she still has more than 20 pounds to go until she reaches her goal weight of 175 pounds.
“Coming from 343 pounds I feel like a whole new woman,” the mom of three said.
“I hope that through my own weight-loss journey, my boys are young enough to reap the benefits of having two active parents in their life and learn how to live with a healthy life style.”
The last time Lowe and Daly saw each other in person was last fall, right after Daly's surgery. As part of their surprise TODAY reunion, they were treated to a shopping spree to help them enjoy their time together — and their slimmer figures — even more.