A couple who both underwent weight loss surgery at Benenden Hospital have lost the equivalent of one person's weight between them.
At her heaviest, housewife Louise Mills was a size 20 before she decided to have the gastric sleeve in August, 2018.
She has since lost an incredible seven stone and husband Derek was so impressed by his wife’s dramatic weight loss that he decided to have a gastric balloon five months later.
He originally tipped the scales at 19 stone but now weighs a healthy 13 stone with his balloon yet to be removed.
Louise, 50, said: “Hand on heart, I can honestly say it is the best decision I have ever made in two decades.
“Over the last 15 years or so my weight was piling on and I just got larger and larger. I developed quite a nasty eating disorder and a lot of it was down to depression.
“I lost my mother nearly 10 years ago and things got completely out of control. I tried one diet after another and exercise but I just got extremely low.
“So I took the plunge, decided to do a bit of research and Benenden Hospital came up.
“We live in Kent so of course I wanted to be near my children. I didn’t want to travel too far so I approached Benenden.
“I spoke to Mr Hamouda, liked what I heard and decided this was the only way forward for me. It was do or die because I realised I was killing myself with food.
“The sleeve is a permanent option but I knew it was right for me. I had it done and I’ve never looked back and the depression has completely lifted. I now feel great about myself, I’m exercising and I’ve got a great social life.
“I love the fact I can now walk into any shop and say ‘that’ll suit me, I’ll buy that’, whereas before I went into a massive depression because every shop I walked into, nothing would suit me.
“I ended up hating shopping and would come home crying.”
Louise’s husband was so impressed by his wife’s sudden weight loss that he decided to have bariatric surgery as well.
But as a self-employed night engineer for London Underground he didn’t want to take time off work so plumped for the minimally-invasive gastric balloon.
Amazingly, he was back at work the next day and has since dropped from an XXXL to a medium size shirt and 47-34in waist.
He said: “Every five years I’m medically examined for my work and I knew my next medical was coming up and there was a good chance I would fail it.
“That was one of my incentives for having the procedure but the main one was because I’m 57 this year and there’s a history of strokes and heart attacks in my family on the men’s side.
“I saw how it changed Louise’s life and if I looked at photos of myself before I had it done and I couldn’t stand next to her the way I was.
“It’s been a fantastic journey for me and what we’ve saved on our food bill would will pay for the surgery in 3-4 years.
“What my procedure cost would have paid for Louise and I to go on a two-week cruise to the Caribbean, and it’s changed our lives.
“We’re hoping it will add a few years to our lives as well, which is priceless.”
Published on 18 September 2019