Doctors in Mexico have set a surgery date for Juan Pedro Franco, the world’s fattest and heaviest man who once weighed more than half a ton at 595 kilos.
Franco has been on a three-month diet to prepare for the gastric bypass surgery scheduled for May 9.
The native of Aguascalientes in north-central Mexico has to shed some 175 kilos at a special weight-loss clinic so as to make himself a suitable candidate for the operation, according to state news agency Notimex.
“He has lost nearly 30 percent of his initial weight, so he is ready to undergo (the) bariatric surgery,” his doctor, Jose Antonio Castaneda Cruz, told reporters at a press conference.
Franco, 32, first made headlines in November when he was admitted to the clinic after making the trip via a specially-adapted van to the western city of Guadalajara, Jalisco.
At the time, Castaneda said Franco’s obesity and related conditions, including diabetes, had made the operation impossible.
Franco contacted the clinic after coming across one of their online ads. Before that, he had spent the past six years lying in bed due to his massive weight.
Despite his weight loss, it cannot be guaranteed that complications will not appear. Yet Franco’s doctor is optimistic, saying that they are “on the right path.”
The initial gastric bypass aims to reduce his current weight by 50 percent, after which a second operation will be needed, said Castaneda.
Franco noted there were other people trapped in their homes like him. “Some have passed away perhaps from sadness, or because they don’t dare (to) ask for help.”
He urged those suffering from obesity “to raise their voice and ask for help since it is possible.”
According to Guinness World Records, the world’s heaviest man was Jon Brower Minnoch of USA, who lived between 1941 and 1983.
He had suffered from obesity since childhood. He was 185 cm (6 ft 1 in) tall and weighed 178 kg (392 lb or 28 st) in 1963, 317 kg (700 lb or 50 st) in 1966 and 442 kg (975 lb or 69 st 9 lb) in September 1976. In March 1978, Minnoch was admitted to University Hospital, Seattle, where consultant endocrinologist Dr Robert Schwartz calculated that Minnoch must have weighed more than 635 kg (1,400 lb or 100 st), a great deal of which was water accumulation due to his congestive heart failure.
In order to get to University Hospital, Seattle, it took a dozen firemen and an improvised stretcher to move him from his home to a ferry-boat. When he arrived at the hospital, saturated with fluid and suffering from heart and respiratory failure, he was put in two beds lashed together. It took 13 people just to roll him over.
After nearly two years on a diet of 1,200 calories per day, he was discharged at 216 kg (476 lb or 34 st).
In October 1981 he had to be readmitted, after putting on over 89 kg (197 lb or 34 st).
When he died on 10 September 1983 he weighed more than 362 kg (798 lb or 57 st).
*Source; Xinhua and Guinness World Records