Wayne Shepherd, who weighed 35 stone 7lb at his heaviest, feels like he’s trapped in an ’80-year-old’s body’ after being saddled with roughly 3 stone of extra skin.
The 40-year-old will need to fork out £30,000 for private treatment to get rid of it after local health chiefs decided his case was not ‘exceptional’ enough for the funding.
The problem eater, from Soham, Cambridge, said he’d experienced issues with his weight ‘since birth’ and had spent most of his twenties and thirties ‘yo-yo dieting’ as he piled on the pounds.
He’d even been forced to use a mobility scooter to get around due to his size before he finally underwent sleeve gastrectomy surgery in June last year.
Wayne Shepherd (pictured left, before surgery, and right, after), 40, who previously weighed 35st 7lb, feels like he’s trapped in an ’80-year-old’s body’ after being saddled with roughly 3st of extra skin
Before the procedure in which surgeons removed 80 per cent of his stomach, he said medics had ‘promised’ he could have his excess skin taken away later.
But Wayne, who shrunk down to 14.3st, feels he’s swapped a weight issue for a mental health problem – after being told he’d need to find private funding.
Wayne said: ‘I’m a 40-year-old in an 80-year-old’s body because of the way I’m so wrinkly.
‘I wish I hadn’t gone through the procedure. It may be wrong to say as my health is amazing compared to what it was – I was in a mobility scooter, now I can walk fine.
‘But I’ve gone from one problem to another. It’s mentality debilitating. I can feel the skin creasing up. It’s a horrible feeling.
He added: ‘I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror, and I feel like people judge me.
‘When I was bigger, I could walk around with a T-shirt on, and it didn’t bother me. Now when I look in the mirror, I do feel disgusted.’
Wayne, who is registered disabled, struggled with his size since he was a kid and even spent a year out of school due to weight-based bullying
Before the procedure – where surgeons removed 80 per cent of his stomach – he said medics had ‘promised’ he could have his excess skin taken away later
He said he tried several different diets over the years but his ‘unhealthy relationship’ with food continued due to his naturally low metabolism and personal issues.
He said: ‘I went through a toxic relationship, that didn’t help, and I just had a very unhealthy relationship with food. It was my comfort, it was my go-to, it was my guilt.
‘I never had massive meals. But I would constantly eat throughout the day. I would be eating and eating. It was an ongoing battle. It lasted for years.
‘I tried Slimming World, and I lost a bit of weight, but I put it back on again.’
Wayne said he was given the chance to apply sleeve gastrectomy four years ago, where a large section of the stomach is removed to reduce overall consumption.
And after passing through the three-tiered process, he eventually had it on June 8 last year at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Portsmouth.
Wayne was aware he would have a vast amount of excess skin ahead of the surgery but was assured by medics that it would later be removed.
He said: ‘It was something that I knew was going to affect me big time. So before I said: ‘I really want this operation, but I need the skin removal.
Wayne said he tried several different diets over the years but his ‘unhealthy relationship’ with food continued due to his naturally low metabolism and personal issues
The problem eater, from Soham, Cambridge, said he’d experienced issues with his weight ‘since birth’ and had spent most of his twenties and thirties ‘yo-yo dieting’ as he piled on the pounds
He said he was told by medics: ‘Yes… will deal with that for you.’ However, when he applied for the operation, he was told by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough integrated care system that they wouldn’t fund it.
In a letter addressed to his doctor, they said he had not demonstrated any ‘evidence of exceptionality’ and so his case had been declined.
They added: ‘We understand that this may be a disappointment to your patient, but hope that they can understand that the NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICB must utilise the limited resources available in the most appropriate way.’
Wayne said he was thankful to the NHS for providing the treatment, but said they needed to offer a ‘full package’ and more information ahead of similar surgeries.
He said: ‘I’m massively grateful to the NHS. They have changed my life.
‘It’s great that they do this type of thing, but as for the full package, they need to look at that a lot more. There are a lot of people that have the same problem.’
He will need to fork out £30,000 for private treatment to get rid of it after local health chiefs decided his case was not ‘exceptional’ enough for the funding
When he applied for the operation, he was told by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough integrated care system that they wouldn’t fund it
‘If I was told that from the start, I would have had better knowledge and understanding.
‘And I’ve gone away from a health problem of sorts, but fundamentally, it’s just as much a problem as it was. It hasn’t really solved all the problems..’
He added: ‘The money [for the procedure] is astronomical really.
‘A lot of people say ‘You got yourself into that state in the first place.’ But to be fair, nobody wants to be this fat.
‘It goes back to emotional eating and having a low metabolism.’
A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough integrated care system and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust told MailOnline: ‘We do not comment on individual cases.
‘Body contouring procedures are not routinely funded by the NHS in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.
‘Exceptional funding may be considered in some circumstances where specific conditions are met, in line with our Exceptional and Individual Funding Request policy.’
Donations to Wayne’s fundraiser are being accepted here.