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#1 Briton named as world's heaviest man warned 'lose weight or die' as he balloons to 70 stone
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20-10-2009, 08:57 PM
Briton named as world's heaviest man warned 'lose weight or die' as he balloons to 70 stone
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:28 PM on 20th October 2009
The world's heaviest man has been warned that he has just months to live unless he loses weight, it was revealed today.
Paul Mason, 48, who weighs 70 stone (444kg) is unable to move from his bed as he awaits life-saving surgery.
The former engineer and Royal mail worker suffers from a compulsive eating disorder and has repeatedly tried to diet over the last 23 years.
Enlarge Comforts: 70 stone man Paul Mason lies in his bed surrounded by everything he needs to get through the day
Mr Mason, from Ipswich in Suffolk, has been unable to stop gorging himself on up to 20,000 calories a day - eight times the recommended amount of 2,500 for a man.
A friend said today: 'His weight has gone up and down over the years and now it is at an all-time high.
'Paul just cannot help himself when it comes to food, but the doctors have told him that this is his last chance.
'He has been warned that he could die within months unless he does something to reduce his weight. He knows his days are numbered if he does not have surgery.'
Big load: An Asda grocery van re-stocks Paul Mason today
NHS chiefs desperate to get Mr Mason to hospital revealed today that they had considered using a helicopter to fly him from his home to a specialist centre at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester, West Sussex.
However, health bosses now say he will be transported in a reinforced ambulance, specially designed to move obese people.
Mr Mason, who has made numerous unsuccessful attempts to shed weight permanently and is now virtually immobile, lives in a rented bungalow which has specially widened doors has been his home since it was built five-years-ago.
He spends time with his two cats watching television and playing computer games.
Paul Mason (right) is pictured here in 2007, when he weighed 45-stone. He was able to go out on his own in a specially-modified wheelchair, but his weight has since ballooned to an incredible 70 stone
He is looked after full-time by carers, with two staff on duty at different times of the day.
The overall cost of keeping him by paying for carers, accommodation, medical equipment and in benefits has been estimated at £100,000 a year.
Mr Mason's neighbour Sue Horne, 55, said: 'He is a really nice bloke who realises he has got a problem. He is just a human being - a very nice human being.
'He is so friendly and seems very happy. He used to have an electric wheelchair and went down to the shops on it - but he has not used it for a while. I think it got taken away because he could no longer use it.
Paul Mason's former house in Ipswich had an extra-wide front door to enable him to get his wheelchair out. In 2002 he was 'rescued' from the property by firefighters
'The last time I saw him was when the weather was warmer. His carers used to wheel him out in his huge bed on his driveway and I would stop and talk to him.'
Another neighbour, plasterer Nathan Smith, 28, said: 'I have only seen him three or four times over the last few years.
'The last time was in the summer when he was lying on his bed at the front of his house and his carer was cooking a barbecue for him on a disposable barbecue.
'The unusual thing was that she was not cooking any burgers or anything. It was all healthy vegetables like peppers.'
Mr Mason has long battled with his fluctuating weight.
In 2002, when he needed to visit a local hospital for a hernia operation, he had to be lifted out of his home by a forklift truck.
The world's heaviest man Paul Mason needs to be transported 152 miles from his home in Ipswich, Suffolk, to hospital in Chichester, West Sussex
Paramedics who arrived to take him to the hospital had to call the fire service, who were unable lift him on to a stretcher and carry him out of the council flat he shared with his widowed mother, Janet.
In the end they used building tools to remove his bedroom window and a row of bricks before knocking down a neighbour's wall to be able to drive the vehicle up to the opening.
The firemen then placed a series of straps under him so that he could be lifted up by the forklift truck and placed in an ambulance with specially lowered suspension to make it easier for him to be moved in and out.
His widowed mother Janet, who died around six weeks ago aged 76, claimed at the time that Mr Mason had been on a diet, restricting his calorie intake by drinking four pints of milk a day, flavoured with Oxo and the occasional banana.
Since then, when he has been mobile, Mr Mason has used a specially-made wheelchair, one metre in wide, to get around.
In 2007 he managed to go from 62 stone to 45 stone, but has since gained an extra 25 stone.
An NHS Suffolk spokeswoman said: 'We are trying to protect the patient at the centre of all this. He is a man who needs help and we have to be extremely sensitive.'
Andrew Hassan, of NHS Suffolk, added: 'We have a duty to protect the confidentiality of all our patients. As such we cannot discuss individual cases.
'The patient does not wish to make any further comment.
'We always put the needs of our patients first. As such we a have a responsibility to provide the right care for all our patients while ensuring their safety and dignity.'
A spokesman added that officials are looking at alternative forms of transport and the situation is 'ongoing'.
The world's heaviest man on record was American John Minnoch, who tipped the scales at 100.2 stone. He died in 1983 at the age of 42.
More recently the title of world's heaviest man was held by Mexican Manuel Uribe, whose weight peaked at 94 stone (596kg), leaving him bedridden.
Once the world's fattest man: Manuel Uribe was driven around his home town in Mexico to celebrate losing 400 pounds in 2007. It was his first trip outside for five years
Amazingly Mr Uribe shed half his weight by going on a strict 2,000-calories a day diet, before getting married last year.
In 2004 the record holder was 77st American Patrick Deuel. Britain's previous heaviest man was 65st cab driver Barry Austin, of Birmingham.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz0UVYtHAHj