Million-buck mammoth


For years Paul Mason was unable to leave his house. He still needs at least two assistants to bathe and dress him every day.

He has spent most of his inheritance on food and hasn’t been intimate with a woman in two decades.

Paul, of Ipswich in England, was once the world’s fattest man, weighing 454 kg. He shed some weight and after undergoing gastric bypass surgery last year he lost another 127 kg but still weighs 253 kg.

The 50-year-old former postman needs more surgery to lose weight – but he blames the National Health Service (NHS) for allowing him to become obese and wants to sue them.

It’s made him widely unpopular, especially after his desperate appeal for funding on a TV programme.

It now costs British taxpayers nearly £100 000 (about R1,1 million) a year to keep Paul alive: he depends on social welfare for housing, food and medical expenses. In 15 years the bill has topped R11 million.

Now he blames the NHS for not doing enough to help him control his addiction to food and he wants compensation ‘‘for the suffering and lost years’’.

But the fact he once claimed he wanted to become the world’s fattest man isn’t in his favour.

He has tried to commit suicide three times – but taking painkillers didn’t work because of his excessive weight.

‘‘It’s not my fault,’’ he says. ‘‘The NHS should have helped so I didn’t put on all that weight in the first place.’’

At one point he was consuming nearly 84 000 kilojoules a day – about 10 times the amount an average man needs to function without gaining weight.

The food was either delivered or given to him by carers who didn’t know better.

He once went through a McDonald’s drive-through in his wheelchair with piles of burgers and chips on his lap.

Read the full article in YOU, 27 January 2011.

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