Last-ditch bid to save 70-stone Paul

Seventy stone Ipswich man Paul Mason, believed to be the heaviest person in the world, is so overweight he could die at any time.

PAUL Mason is lying in a hospital bed today - desperately hoping a last chance to save his life will be successful.

The Ipswich man, whose weight has rocketed in recent years to a believed world-record of 70-stone, knows there is no second chance this time.

Paul, 48, who has tipped the scales at 70-stone, has been confined to his east Ipswich home while a multi-agency, publicly-funded, rescue operation has been planned.

In the last few weeks, doctors, health workers, NHS Suffolk officials and charity volunteers have combined to give Paul a chance of a normal life.

It's a chance - there are no guarantees - but Paul is reaching out for the opportunity.

And soon the nation will see and hear of his torment.

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For he's linked-up with a Channel 4 documentary team - no details have been forthcoming - to allow cameras to film his extraordinary life - and the build up to this week's rescue operation.

Yesterday, The Evening Star was on hand as Paul, who has featured in our columns over the years, was moved out of his home in secret.

He was taken to Chichester's St Richard's Hospital, in Sussex, yesterday morning for life-saving surgery at its specialist unit.

Doctors, nurses and first-aid volunteers, transported him in a St John Ambulance vehicle, one which is specially designed to cater for obese (bariatric) patients.

In October The Evening Star was the first to break the story that Mr Mason's weight had ballooned in recent years and that he needed vital surgery to save his life.

Although NHS Suffolk refused to comment on any details of the case due to patient confidentiality, a Channel 4 crew from a television production company were allowed access in the house and were filming as Mr Mason was put into the ambulance, as part of a documentary about him.

The ambulance was parked on Mr Mason's car port next to his front door, and another ambulance, plus three non-ambulance staff, were positioned in front of the drive, ensuring the move took place out of view of the two members of the media and neighbours.

The documentary will be aired on Channel 4 soon and follows the story of Mr Mason as he undergoes surgery from one of the UK's leading gastric surgeons, Shaw Somers.

Channel 4 refused to comment on the issue.

Sue Hayter, director of patient safety and clinical quality at NHS Suffolk, said: “We have a duty to protect the confidentiality of all of our patients and would not discuss individual cases. We always put the needs of our patients first. As such, we have a responsibility to provide the right care for all of our patients while ensuring their safety and dignity.”

A St John Ambulance spokesman said: “St John Ambulance regularly works with NHS Suffolk and likewise is committed to ensuring patient confidentiality and providing the highest level of clinical patient care.”

A preview of the documentary, filmed by Electric Sky Productions states: “Paul's addiction to food is so severe that he cannot lose weight on his own and is now hoping that bariatric surgery will give him back the normal life denied to him by his weight.”

A media storm was created following The Star's story following reports that Mr Mason could be flown in a Chinook helicopter to receive the surgery