Rapid weight loss has left Jeff with folds of excess skin weighing almost three stone.
A dad is campaigning for surgical treatment to remove excess skin after he lost a massive 22 stone to help his crippling arthritis.
Jeff Huggins, of Branksome Drive, Morecambe, lost the weight in just 18 months – but is now facing a struggle to get the excess skin, which weighs more than three stone, removed.
Dad-of-three Jeff was diagnosed with arthritis in his late 30s, and as it got worse it affected his quality of life.
He also struggled with alcoholism for 20 years, followed by a dependency on prescription drugs.
The 45-year-old said: “This led me into depression and self loathing. The thing I felt I had left was my love of food, which consequently got me to a whopping 39 plus stone.
My rheumatologist advised me that if I was able to lose a significant amount of weight they would be able to replace my knees, but at 39 stone it would not even be considered
“My rheumatologist advised me that if I was able to lose a significant amount of weight they would be able to replace my knees, but at 39 stone it would not even be considered.
“I was offered to be referred for a gastric balloon on the NHS; however I refused this as I felt this could be acheived by myself. Over the past 18 months I have lost 22 stone.”
Jeff puts his dramatic weight loss down to cutting out carbs and sugar, reducing his portions and limiting himself to 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day.
“The weight just started to fall off,” he said. “It’s just a case of keeping it off now.”
Jeff was referred to a plastic surgeon at the Royal Preston Hospital to discuss the removal of his excess skin.
“The amount of excess skin around my abdomen, back, breasts and buttocks is really affecting my life,” he said. “I have had recurring cellulitis underneath the folds. I am also unable to clean myself due to the sheer amount of skin and my inability to reach under the folded areas. I also struggle to sleep at night lying on the folds in my back is very painful.”
NHS Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group turned Jeff down for an operation to remove the skin.
His family has now set up an online fundraising page in a bid to raise £5,000 towards the surgery.
He said: “We as a family understand that this is a very controversial issue. This is a last resort and we hoped we would never be in this position.”
Jeff’s fundraising page is at www.gofundme.com/2sn328bc.