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The hospital had a special fridge for fat people and I didn't want go in there; LORNA HUGHES meets a weight-loss nurse who took her own advice.


AWEIGHT-LOSS nurse who once tipped the scales at a hefty 24 stone has beaten her own battle of the bulge - and is HALF the woman she used to be.

Kath Rothwell is now a trim 11 stone four pounds after having a PS12,000 gastric bypass at the age of 49 because she didn't want to be "fat and 50".

Kath works as bariatric specialist nurse and outpatient manager at Spire Murrayfield Hospital, in Barnston, Wirral and helps deal with an increasing number of bariatric - or weight loss - patients.

She said: "I've been there, done it and got the T-shirt. I had a gastric bypass when I was 49 because I didn't want to be fat and 50 so I know what it's like for the men and women who come here.

"I had always been big but my weight did balloon and I'd been on every diet known to man and made some up and I'd lost it and put it back on and got bigger than before.

"It was comfort eating and it became a habit and it became uncontrollable - I was a cardio-thoracic nurse at the time and weighed 24 stone 10 pounds.

"If there was an emergency and someone went into cardiac arrest I'd get there but I wouldn't be the first.

"I used to teach young nurses how to care for the deceased and we had to go to the mortuary and they have a fridge for big people and the first thing they do when you die is they weigh you and put you in the fat fridge and I just thought I'm not going in there - that did it for me.

"I saw the surgeon at a Spire hospital and was in for a gastric bypass the following week and was discharged four days later but it took three months to recover."

The surgery Kath, 61, had is now done through key hole but when she had her operation 12 years ago she was left with 54 staples.

She said she eats off a special small plate and avoids sugar and fat.

She said: "There is much more support too but you still have to be honest with yourself about lifestyle and food choices.

"The surgery will work if you follow the rules. I eat off an eight-and-ahalf inch plate and the effect of the operation is that you respond negatively to sugar and fat and you don't weight absorb them fully which makes you feel unwell - that's a bonus for me as I avoid them even now.

"Surgery is a tool to help, it's not a cure and you can put all the weight back on if you don't follow the guidelines.

"People can't turn to me and say 'you don't know how I feel' because I do and I've made all the excuses myself in the past."

With limited NHS funding, patients who have bariatric surgery usually have to find the money themselves.

Kath said the operation - which now costs around PS9,000 - was worth every penny and meant she was healthy enough to be able to play with her grandchildren.

Alan Li, Consultant Bariatric Surgeon at Spire Murrayfield Hospital, said: "Being overweight or obese can negatively affect your self-confidence and self-esteem and put you at increased risk of serious health conditions.

"We carry out a number of very successful procedures and while it does cost approximately PS9,000, in the long term it can save you money.

"One of our patients put what she used to spend on food in a glass jar and found that over four years she had saved PS20,000.

Kath follows "The thing is that weight loss surgery is not a vanity issue or a cosmetic issue, it is a health issue."


Kath Rothwell still follows her postoperation diet

Kath before she lost her weight
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 11, 2017
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