Mum puts life in surgeon’s hands to lose weight

Wetherby woman Lynn Durrell after the operation. (S)
Wetherby woman Lynn Durrell after the operation. (S)

A woman who binged on chocolate and comfort food to beat stress says she has shed almost seven stone after a life-saving operation.

Tipping the scales at over 20 stone and suffering several medical problems, Lynn Durrell from Wetherby went ahead with a gastric bypass even after her doctor told her that she was a very high risk candidate for surgery.

“I’d been suffering for a long time with many health problems which were made worse by my weight,” said the 60-year-old retired market researcher and mum of four.

“I tried everything to lose weight but could not do it.

“I became very depressed and struggled to get through each day.

“It’s horrific to look back at photos of myself. The weight just kept creeping up fueled by stress which was also caused by my weight.

“I binged on chocolate and comfort food.”

Since the procedure at Roundhay-based Spire Leeds Hospital, in June, Lynn says she is now steadily losing weight.

“It was a very difficult decision to make but it was either have surgery or go downhill from there,” she added.

“My tastes have changed,” said Lynn. who has lost almost seven stone and now weighs 13 stone nine pounds.

“I cannot face chocolate and I cannot stand the smell of fatty food.”

Consultant Upper GI and Bariatric surgeon, Abeezar Sarela, performed the Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. He said, “Lynn was an extremely high risk candidate for surgery: she had several medical problems including asthma, obstructive sleep apnoea, a transient ischaemic episode (often described as a “mini-stroke”) and heart disease. She was taking over 20 different medications.

“Lynn had painful hip arthritis and back problems (spondylolisthesis), she walked with two sticks and was taking high doses of morphine on a daily basis.

“She has had several previous open operations on her abdomen (removal of gallbladder and uterus) and laparoscopic weight loss surgery was made technically challenging because of adhesions from previous operations.

“I had quoted her a one in 200 risk of death from gastric bypass,” said Mr Sarela who added that the procedure works by restricting the capacity of the stomach and bypassing part of the digestive system.

Lynn added: “People are telling me I’ve lost weight and I look good.

“I can do so many more things such as walk my dog, and go shopping with my husband.

“The number of medications I am taking has reduced, I no longer depend on walking sticks to get around as I did before surgery and I’m looking forward to joining a gym and going swimming.

“This is a life changing decision for my health and without it I think I would not have had much longer on this earth.

“I really feel that it saved my life!”