Michael Tyrell – 2018
At his heaviest, Michael Tyrrell, 64, a father of two from south London, weighed 156 kilos (24.5 stone) and had a dangerously high body mass index (BMI) of 51. He found it difficult to walk, suffered from various health problems – including high blood pressure – and was taking medication to control sleep apnoea, a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder.
He started to have problems with his knees in 2009 and had an operation on his right knee but without any noticeable improvement. He had Osteoarthritis in both knees and then he started to have pains in the right hip area in 2011. He was referred to a specialist at the Cromwell Hospital and was told that the Osteoarthritis was in the hip, but that he would have to lose weight.
Michael approached his doctor, who referred him to specialist bariatric (weight loss) surgeon Mr Ahmed Ahmed at Cromwell Hospital. After assessing Michael, Mr Ahmed recommended that a gastric bypass would be the best weight loss surgery procedure for him. The operation was subsequently carried out in June 2012.
He says: “The surgery went well and since the operation, I’ve lost over 49 kilos (seven stone) in nine months, gone from a size 5XL to an XL and am still losing weight. I feel 100% better.”
According to Mr Ahmed, Michael has done “fantastically well”. He says: “Michael has made amazing progress,” he said. He is far happier and his sleep apnoea has gone, he is not taking any blood pressure medication and he is able to walk better and take more exercise. Michael is also healthier and much more active.”
Michael says: “If I hadn’t had the surgery, I probably wouldn’t be here today. I hated the way I was before. I was so depressed – my weight really got me down. But weight loss surgery has transformed my life. I’ve got my confidence back – I can do so much more. I’m a totally different person. I feel happy again. It’s absolutely brilliant.”
October 2017: Surgeon Richard Welbourn writes for The Guardian on stigma – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/11/obese-people-treatment-surgery-britain
Wayne Mentessi – 2017
Former fast-food addict Wayne Mentessi from Essex weighed 38 stone at his heaviest – but now he’s changed his life after losing a staggering 25 stone. The finance manager, who is now aged 35, tipped the scales in 2011 at 38 stone and says he had a daily diet of junk food and fizzy drinks. But after undergoing two obesity operations saw his weight fall to just 14 stone 11 pounds by 2015 and he has lost a further two-and-a half stones since then.
Wayne says: “When I was heavy, I used to arrive for a hospital appointment and drive across the car park from one part of the building to another so I wouldn’t have to walk the short distance.”
Wayne said he began comfort eating as a child when he struggled with “social anxiety”. His mother died when he was a baby and he was brought up by his grandparents.
He said the tipping point came when he suffered a blood clot on his lung in 2010, and he was taken to hospital in a special bariatric ambulance because of his heavy weight. “I realised that my weight was a problem for other people as well as me,” he said. “I was embarrassed.”
Before his surgery Wayne lost seven stone and had a sleeve gastrectomy in April 2013. He then had duodenal switch in 2014. He says: “The surgery changed my life. I can socialise and I’m completely mobile. My taste in food has completely changed.”
Wayne is currently looking into skin removal surgery to correct the loose skin around his body including on his stomach, chest, thighs and arms – as he says: “Bariatric surgery is not the end of the journey, it is the start.”
Sadie Roberts – 2015
Sadie is 18-years-old and currently weighs 13 stone. She says: “A year ago my life was different, I was a size 28 and 24 stone.
“I first realised I was unhappy with my body when I was 12-years-old. I wanted to be someone different, I hated myself. I found comfort in food and started eating in secret. I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror because I hated myself. I thought that I couldn’t be anybody because I wasn’t a size 6.”
Sadie had a gastric bypass operation at the age of 17. She also without the surgery she might not be here today.
“I’d probably be an extra six stone heavier or probably tried to take my own life because I just hated my life when I was big.”
And how does Sadie feel now? “I feel fantastic, I run, I don’t feel embarrassed if I want to do exercise.”