World's fattest man loses 644 lbs.

...and threatens to sue the British health care system Photo: Paul Mason (public)

WASHINGTON, November 29, 2013 — Paul Mason, the former Guinness World Record holder for the world’s fattest man, went from close to 1,000 lbs to about 356 lbs after gastric bypass surgery funded by British taxpayers.

Now, according to the Daily Mail, Mason is threatening to sue the British National Health System (NHS) for his weight problem. Mason allegedly blames the NHS for not referring him to an eating disorder specialist and for failing to emphasize the importance of losing weight or outlining the potential health risks of obesity. 

The NHS so far says it has received no notification of a lawsuit.

But taxpayers may be less than sympathetic to Mason’s plight.

In addition to the approximately $1.5 million spent by NHS to treat Mason, public welfare funded his $3,150 monthly food bill before the surgery. 

Mason’ treatment included in-home nursing care, body bathers, medicines, doctors care and ultimately, surgery.  A wall from his home was removed to take Mason to surgery and he was put in a special truck. In the hospital, special lifts were constructed to hoist him.

To complicate matters, British taxpayers previously paid for his housing and food when Mason was in jail for stealing money when he was a postal worker.

Now Mason is demanding the NHS pay for additional surgery to remove the folds of skin he now has as a result of extreme weight loss.

Such surgery has a lengthy recovery and is painfully complicated.

The folds can cause health problems. The Sun, a British newspaper, reports Mason must use a wheelchair to cart around the 75 lbs. of extra skin and interferes with his ability to walk and rashes, infections and unchecked bacterial growth can grow within the folds of skin.

However, Charlotte Linacre, campaign manager at the Taxpayers Alliance, told the Mail “Although there is sympathy for those suffering with health issues, taxpayers will not feel this is a fair allocation of funds as they sit on waiting lists while footing the bill for his personal care.”

The NHS refuses to do what they consider cosmetic surgery until Mason’s body weight stabilizes. If the surgery is performed now and Mason losses more weight, more surgery may be necessary. 

Mason has identified help in America, where New York plastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Capla is willing to donate her time to remove the extra skin. Capla specializes in post-bariatric surgery body contouring and claims “helping him get his life back is really the goal.”

Mason must raise the money to fly to the United States, however.


Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based writer and psychotherapist



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Paul R. Mountjoy

Paul Mountjoy is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science

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