‘We said this weight will kill us and we have a young son’
ADublin couple who each tipped the scales at over 20 stone have told how weight loss surgery has transformed their lives. Deirdre and Alan have ended up losing a staggering 15 stone (95kg) between them in recent months.
Deirdre, a project manager weighed 21-anda-half stone while Alan, a pharmaceutical technician, was 23 stone at the end of last year.
“We both tried every diet. We would lose weight but it was a vicious circle and the weight would go back on again,” says Deirdre.
Both developed a worrying range of health complications including sleep apnoea which, if not controlled, can lead to stroke or heart attack.
They were concerned they were on a slippery slope, but their main motivation was their five-year-old son Charlie.
“We said this weight is going to kill us and we have a child to look after.
“I lost weight breastfeeding Charlie but I ended up putting on six stone in three years.”
The couple decided to explore gastric bypass surgery and ended up becoming the first patients to undergo a robotic gastric bypass covered by health insurance in the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin. The robot sprouts a number of arms and is controlled by surgeon William Robb.
It allows the surgery to be more precise and improves access to areas that are difficult to get to. The less invasive operations leads to reduced blood loss, less pain and a quicker recovery.
“Alan had the surgery in November and I followed three weeks later,” Deirdre says.
Both are now on the road to lose more weight and have adapted to a new life of smaller portion food sizes.
Alan has lost nine stone and Deirdre has lost six stone.
They have low-fat, low-sugar foods and take supplements to boost calcium and other nutrients.
“We already feel the health and other benefits. I can run for a train without feeling I am going to die.
“Your mindset changes and you don’t want big portions. Alan wonders why he did not do it years ago.”
Gastric bypass op: Deirdre and Alan Murphy with surgeon William Robb