Starved to death after gastric bypass surgery: Grandmother, 42, dropped to FOUR STONE after losing 22 STONE in a YEAR
Angela Jones, 46, died in March last year three years after gastric bypassThe mother of two resorted to having surgery after ballooning to 26 stoneBut within days of the operation she was unable to keep down any foodA year after the surgery, her weight had plummeted to just four stone She died weighing just five stone in March after contracting pneumoniaHer family says doctors should not have advised her to have operation
An obese mother starved to death after being left unable to keep food down by gastric weight-loss surgery.
Angela Jones from Portsmouth underwent a gastric bypass in 2010 at Spires Southampton Hospital after ballooning to 26 stone. The mother of two had been suffering arthritis and struggled to exercise for much of her life.
But within days of the operation the 42-year-old showed signs of complications, struggling to keep food down despite being given anti-nausea pills.
Over the following years she was rushed in and out of hospital, with doctors forced to insert feeding tubes to keep her alive.
Angela Jones died after undergoing gastric bypass surgery. The 42-year-old dropped from 24 stone (left) to just four in as many years.She died in March 2014 a few months after being photographed (right)
In March 2014, weighing 20 stone less than when she underwent the surgery, the mother of two died.
Her daughter Chantel has since told of how she wished her mother had never had the operation at all.
‘I’ll never be able to forget the horror of how mum died. She thought the gastric bypass would be the start of a new life when she’d finally have the slim figure she always dreamed of,’ she said.
‘Yet by the end she was so thin, just a living skeleton confined to a wheelchair.
‘She just faded away in front of my eyes. I won’t ever get over it.’
‘I speak on behalf of the whole family when I say people often mistakenly think these operations are the answer to being obese.
‘But the truth is we believe my mum would still be alive if she hadn’t had this done.’
Mrs Jones, a former carer, struggled with her weight after being unable to exercise for much of her life, her daughter added.
The mother of two with daughters Melissa (left) and Chantel (right). The women begged their mother not to undergo the surgery but had their fears dismissed when she believed doctors’ advice, they said
Mrs Jones struggled with her weight for most of her life after being born with hip problems which made it difficult for her to exercise
‘Mum had always been overweight. She was born with a hip problems and developed arthritis that made exercise difficult.’
Despite ‘adoring’ Chinese takeaways the mother of two made several attempts to lose weight.
‘She tried every diet going but she just simply couldn’t maintain her weight loss and whenever she lost a stone she‘d put it all back on again and more.
Aged 37, her weight peaked at 26 stone. At just 4ft 9in, this gave Mrs Jones a BMI of 79, 49 points above the official classification for someone who is obese.
The 42-year-old was in and out of hospital for three after having the operation. Above, she is at a healthy weight despite complications
After having treatment for a range of weight-related problems, doctors urged the woman to consider more drastic action.
‘The doctors were blunt. In hindsight they frightened her into wanting the surgery,’ said Chantel, 19.
‘They said she would die without an operation. At the same time (my sister) Melissa and I were growing up and she longed to be slim and buy normal clothes.
‘She was fed up of ordering outsize stuff and dreamed of accompanying us on clothes shopping trips.’
Chantel and her sister begged their mother to avoid the surgery but say they were dismissed because she trusted doctors advice.
After dropping two stone naturally, Mrs Jones underwent the procedure in hospital in 2010. Despite being unable to keep food down afterwards, doctors insisted she would recover, and sent her home.
Yet despite being prescribed anti nausea drugs, the sickness continued.
‘All her food had to be liquidised because she couldn’t swallow any lumps at all. It was heartbreaking to see her having to drink her meals. Even then, often she still couldn’t keep anything down.’
Within three months her weight had dropped to 18 stone.
‘Mum was delighted about the weight loss but doctors were worried she was losing too much weight too fast.’
Over the next six months Mrs Jones became gradually thinner, encountering a range of ailments including pancreatitis along the way.
In March 2011, a year after the operation, she was rushed to hospital weighing just four stone – an astonishing 20 stone less than the previous year.
There a feeding tube was directly inserted through her side into her stomach while doctors urgently tried to reverse some of the gastric bypass to allow Angela to eat more.
‘She was in hospital for two months and when she came home it was terrible as not only could she still only eat liquidised food, she had to go through the indignity of being fed via a tube into her stomach every day,’ said Chantel.
‘Being fed through her stomach took ten hours of being hooked up to a machine – it was no life at all.’
The stress of her health problems put pressure on her marriage to Chantel’s father, Bryan, and he later left the family home.
‘I would sit there begging mum to eat. In desperation I’d even try spoon-feeding her like a baby.
‘But by now because every time she ate, she’d be sick, she’d developed a fear of food. She’d cry and in tears say she just couldn’t manage it.
The 42-year-old became too frail to eat her own food and eventually contracted pneumonia. She is pictured at her daughter’s wedding (top left) and in her home (right) in some of the last photographs taken of her
‘It broke our hearts.’
In November that year, after being rushed to hospital having collapsed, Mrs Jones was told her organs were shutting down.
She returned home two weeks later but was in and out of hospital over the next two years.
In March 2014 Chantel woke up to find her mother had passed out on the sofa. She was rushed to hospital where doctors managed to revive her.
THOUSANDS HAVE GASTRIC BYPASS EVERY YEAR TO LOSE WEIGHT
Over 6,500 weight loss procedures are currently performed in the UK every year with gastric bypass one of the most common operations.
This number is set to increase with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE) recommending the NHS should offer even more weight loss surgery to thousands more people to tackle the growing obesity epidemic.
It works by inserting a small pouch at the top of the stomach. This is then connected to a section of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and bowel.
This means that it will take less food to make you feel full.
Gastric bypass surgery is often favoured over gastric band surgery by doctors.
This is because unlike a band – which temporarily makes the stomach smaller and can be removed – it is permanent.
The patient and gives better weight loss results for the very obese.
But devastatingly, three days later she died.
A post mortem found Angela’s problems began when she had the bypass.
‘A lack of food led to her losing too much weight and her body not being fed vital nutrients,’ said Chantel.
‘She was so frail she couldn’t fight off any infection and finally died from pneumonia she’d picked up during a hospital stay.
‘The gastric bypass starved her to death. She was skin and bone when she went.’
The young mother, who welcomed baby Ruby-Mae seven months ago, said doctors did not properly warn her mother of the risks involved.
‘Doctors presented this operation to mum as the answer to all her problems. If mum had been told all of the risks she never would have agreed to go ahead.
‘We don’t feel the risk of severe side effects, which can be fatal, were ever properly explained to mum.
‘We bitterly regret my mum ever allowed doctors to persuade her having weight loss surgery was the answer to her obesity problem.’
‘I only hope telling mum’s tragic story makes anyone else think twice before having gastric surgery.
‘If it stops just one person going through the same nightmare, it will be worth it.’