Former fattest man from Ipswich set for skin surgery in US after losing 46 stone
- Credit: Paul Nixon Photography
Former world’s heaviest man Paul Mason is finally preparing for skin-removal surgery after taking his desperate plea overseas.
Once tipping the scales at 70 stone, Mr Mason, from east Ipswich, has managed to shed a mind-boggling 46 stone after gastric bypass surgery five years ago.
However, Mr Mason was left with a constant reminder of the man he once was, with around seven stone of excess skin around his stomach, arms and legs.
In 2012, the 54-year-old started on a public appeal for help to get the skin removed, threatening to stage a protest outside NHS Suffolk’s headquarters, now the clinical commissioning group.
However, health bosses insisted that Mr Mason would not be eligible for an operation until he maintained a stable weight.
Speaking at the time, the former postman said: “The loose skin is having a horrible effect on my life.
“I can’t make any more progress if they don’t do these operations.”
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Mr Mason’s story went world-wide, and one publication was seen by a plastic surgeon from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Dr Jennifer Capla.
After tracking down Mr Mason at his Suffolk home, Ms Capla presented him with a life-changing proposition: If he could get to the United States, she would perform the skin-removal surgery for free.
Speaking to The New York Times, Ms Capla said: “I remember seeing an image of him, wheelchair-bound, he couldn’t walk.
“To me it was so sad that he had gone through this whole journey and come full circle, and he couldn’t even do basic things and no-one would help him.”
After a tough few months of waiting for his health visa to be granted, Mr Mason flew to Orange, near Boston in September to live with his fiancée, Rebecca Mountain.
The surgery is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, and Ms Capla will be helped by a large team of doctors, including two surgeons from other states.