Fattest man set to be moved

Final preparations are today being made to transport a 70-stone man from his home to get life-saving surgery 150 miles away.

IPSWICH: Final preparations are today being made to transport a 70-stone man from his home to get life-saving surgery 150 miles away.

It is believed that a decision has been made to take the patient, Paul Mason, from his Ipswich home, to the hospital in Sussex, in an ambulance which is specially designed to transport obese (bariatric) patients.

A media storm was created last month after it emerged that Mr Mason, 48, believed to be the world's heaviest man, was going to be flown in a Chinook helicopter to receive the surgery.

However following discussions between NHS Suffolk and St John Ambulance Suffolk, a source claims it has been decided Mr Mason will be taken in the ambulance and this will happen soon.

The vehicles, partly designed by St John Ambulance, arrived in the county in 2003 and the four in Suffolk are among the only ones operating in the whole country. They contain specialist equipment, and come with a dedicated clinical team.

Major surgery is the last resort for Mr Mason, who is living in east Ipswich and is virtually immobile as he continues to battle his obesity.

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Although he has made numerous attempts to shed the weight, which is threatening his health, no method has proved successful.

The NHS bariatric service at Chichester's St Richard's Hospital provides new surgical weight loss treatment for obese patients.

The maximum weight the ambulances can take is 71 and a half stone, although St John Ambulance Suffolk claim that transporting a patient weighing 70 stone would be a first.

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Did You Know?

The World's Heaviest Man until recently was Mexican Manuel Uribe who tipped the scales at more than 85 stone last year before losing much of his weight on a special diet.