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Paul Mason is from Ipswich, UK and has struggled with an eating disorder which saw his weight grow to 980 pounds before the NHS granted the gastric bypass surgery he desperately wanted to help him control his eating and facilitate his weight loss. Since his surgery in February, 2010 Paul has lost a staggering 670 pounds and has turned his life around by addressing the reasons for his addiction to food.
Gastric bypass surgery is not a guarantee of success in keeping the weight off as many people end up putting the weight back. Paul’s success this far is not only one of pounds shed, but of changing his relationship with food.
His journey is far from over as Paul has been left with roughly 100 pounds of loose skin which prevents him from walking more than a few steps before the weight of it causes his skin to split. He is unable to exercise to continue to build up his strength and continue to lose weight to reach his goal weight of 200 pounds. He still must rely on a wheelchair to get around and do day to day activities.
The usual procedure for people loosing hundreds of pounds of weight is to have several separate surgeries to remove the excess skin as their weight declines. Currntly, Paul must rely on the NHS (National Health Service) to provide the medical care he needs. So far the NHS has refused to grant even one skin removal surgery, saying that Paul's weight must be stable for 6 months before they will consider the surgeries. However, since Paul's weight loss is so great it could be years before his weight loss stops and even then, the wait list for surgery could be years more. Paul has decided that waiting for the NHS to cover the surgeries he needs could leave him unable to walk for years to come and that is not an option.
Paul’s goal is to reach out to people who are suffering from eating disorders and weight problems and help them with his own personal experiences. Paul understands that surgery alone is not the solution to turning one’s life around and has himself relied on counseling to help identify the reasons for his over eating so that he would be able to succeed with his weight loss.
Once Paul has had the surgery to regain his mobility, he plans to move to the U.S. where he will partner with his girlfriend Rebecca in running a small business. Paul also plans on launching a business selling handcrafted jewelry and cards.
The surgery Paul needs would remove the loose skin in stages allowing him gain mobility and achieve his goals. A New York based doctor is willing to offer her services at no charge, but there are many related medical expenses such as transportation, hospital fees, medication and aftercare that he needs to raise money for.