Laura Davies says she’s ‘always been big’ but started piling on the pounds when she started taking a new medication
A 35-stone woman who can’t fit in her own bath is desperately fundraising £5,000 for a gastric bypass op abroad – as she fears she’ll die waiting for surgery on the NHS.
Laura Davies says she’s ‘always been big’ but started piling on the pounds when she started taking a new medication and grew from a size 22 to a size 32 in just four years. The 38-year-old can barely walk due to her huge frame, relying on her mum and 16-year-old daughter to help her around the house.
Laura admits to gorging on crisps and chocolate to cheer her up when she’s down and says doctors have warned her if she doesn’t do something to tackle her weight she could die young. The mum-of-three previously followed a healthy fitness plan and dropped 3.5 stone in preparation for an NHS op in 2019.
But when the surgery was cancelled she piled the weight back on and a future op was delayed further due to Covid. Now, unable to fit in her own bath, Laura is desperate to drop the pounds and fears if she doesn’t get a gastric bypass soon she may die.
The desperate mum-of-three has set up a fundraiser in the hopes of raising £5,000 that would allow her to have the operation sooner in Turkey. Laura, from Preston, said: “It’s a vicious cycle, I feel depressed so I eat more to stop myself from feeling depressed so I put weight on.
“I don’t eat loads but I eat the wrong things. I’ve got three kids and I pick off their plates after I finish my tea and eat crisps and chocolate. I’ve just got no confidence at all, the person I am now isn’t the person I was a few years ago. My mum is my carer and my daughter has to help me doing stuff. I need a shower seat and I can’t get a bath because it’s an eco-bath and I don’t fit in it. Even buying clothes [is an issue], before I could grab whatever.
“Even though I was big, a size 22, I could buy something from Asda but now I have to go to special shops and it’s not cheap. I’ve had enough now. I don’t want to leave my kids and my doctor said if you don’t do something you’re going to end up dying young. It’s embarrassing to have to ask for money but I need to be here for my girls. I have to try everything to try and get this. I’m terrified of being one of those people who’s stuck in the house but I’m also so embarrassed.
“I never will be skinny and that’s fine, I just want to be healthy and be able to walk more and play with the kids rather than watch on the side lines. I’ve tried many diets so this isn’t a quick fix.”
Back in 2019, Laura was put on the list for a gastric bypass and shed 3.5 stone in preparation but she put the weight back on when the op was cancelled. Tragically Laura doesn’t believe her body could survive if she has to wait another four years.
Laura said: “I’ve lost a lot of weight in the past. I’ve always been big but even when I was 18 stone, I went to the gym three or four times a week. When I first started putting weight on, I was doing aqua zumba and I was trying to lose the weight but it was just an uphill battle.
“I had a fitness plan made by a PT. I was walking and I was so overweight but I had some fitness and now because I’ve put the 10 stone on it’s so much harder. I can barely walk. I was told to lose five per cent of my body weight and keep it off.
“I got referred to the NHS, you have to be educated on how to eat properly then you see a psychologist and dietician. I’m on medication and the doctor said I had to be stable on it for six months.
“I’ve been stable for years but I had to get them updated and upped and they said that’s classed as ‘unstable’ so they’d have to discharge me. I couldn’t apply again for six months, then because of Covid it was another eight months then I’d have to start all over again. I need to do something. If it’s another four years on the NHS I’ll be in my forties if I’m still here.”
Laura was forced to give up work as a cleaner and her master’s degree in criminology because of how her weight was affecting her health. But she’s hopeful that after surgery she’ll be able to get back into education and work.
Laura said: “[Having the op means] I’ll be more of a hands-on mum, be able to play with the kids and go back to work. It’ll give me some life back before I’m too old to enjoy it. I’d love to go and work but I couldn’t be on my feet for nine hours [now].”
You can donate to Laura’s page here. Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership declined to comment.