The world’s fattest man, also believed to be the heaviest, is set to undergo gastric bypass surgery in Mexico to save his life. Juan Pedro Franco, who has spent seven years in bed, entered a hospital on May 4 ahead of a life-saving biliopancreatic diversion surgery.
According to local media reports, Franco, who weighed 1,311 pounds, entered the hospital after losing 385 pounds. The 33-year-old was placed on a special diet for three months to lose some weight after doctors said that preliminary weight loss was necessary before he could undergo the gastric bypass surgery needed to save his life.
Since he entered the hospital on May 4, Franco’s team of doctors have been conducting a series of tests, including imaging tests, blood tests, pulmonary and cardiac function tests, in preparation for the surgery reportedly scheduled to take place on May 9. Franco needs to undergo gastric bypass surgery due to his failing health and threats of serious complications, such as diabetes and organ failure, doctors said.
Franco, a native of the small central Mexican state of Aguascalientes, weighed about 1,311 pounds before he lost 385 pounds, nearly the weight of fellow Mexican Manuel Uribe, the former world’s heaviest man, who died in 2014, according to the Daily Mail.
Juan Pedro Franco, de 32 años, llegó a pesar casi 600 kilos, pero con la ayuda de un tratamiento médico ha logrado… https://t.co/T3tR88OCdf
— Trend (@fractaltrend) May 6, 2017
Juan Pedro Franco 32 años (595 kg) en el hospital de Guadalajara para ser operado y reducir su estómago.
— Ernesto Collazo (@ErnestoSuidry) May 6, 2017
“He has lost nearly 30 per cent of his initial weight, so he is ready to undergo the bariatric surgery,” one of Franco’s doctors, Jose Antonio Castaneda Cruz, said. “Everything we’re doing has been mapped out and if everything goes to plan in a year and a half we’ll have him down to between 12 and 14 stone.”
Dr. Castaneda will lead a team of medical specialists, including anesthesiologists and cardiologists.
Franco first made headlines as the heaviest man in the world last November after he was transported to a hospital in the western city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, for a medical appointment in a specially-modified van. Hospital staff had to use special equipment to lift him from his bed and carry him into the specially built ambulance for transportation to the hospital.
Franco recalled that he has struggled with obesity since his early childhood. He was overweight as a child and weighed nearly 140 pounds at six years old. He also recalled that his weight problem took a turn for the worse after a traffic accident and injury when he was 17 years old. After the accident, his weight increased rapidly to more than 530 pounds. He continued to gain weight rapidly after the accident and he suffered an attack of pneumonia which left him bed-ridden for more than a year.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) May 6, 2017
— Ahtziri Cárdenas C. (@ahtziricardenas) May 5, 2017
He was forced to appeal to the public for help after he had ballooned to more than 840 pounds and became permanently confined to bed. Help finally arrived last November when he was transported from his home in Aguascalientes to a hospital about 100 miles away in Guadalajara in a specially-modified ambulance. He had reached a weight of nearly 1,300 pounds by the time he arrived at the hospital. Doctors, who had initially estimated his weight at about 1,100 pounds, were shocked when he was found to weigh nearly 1,300 pounds.
His mother, Maria de Jesus Salas Lemus, said she was optimistic about the outcome of the surgical procedure.
Franco’s surgery, expected to last only 20 minutes, is scheduled to take place on May 9. It will come after 37-year-old Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, an Egyptian woman believed to have been the world’s heaviest woman, left hospital after undergoing weight loss surgery in India. She shed more than 700 pounds in hospital.
Juan Pedro Franco El hombre más pesado del mundo https://t.co/yeAyVZVChj
— WEB-BLOG-NOTICIAS (@que_noticiases) March 30, 2017
— Noticias de Portugal (@news_portugal) March 29, 2017
World's most obese man Juan Pedro Franco sheds 175 kilos to undergo surgery https://t.co/A5Q9HLiqMf
— InUth (@InUthdotcom) March 29, 2017
She weighed more than 1,100 pounds before she was flown to Mumbai, India last February in a specially modified Airbus jet. She was flown to Mumbai after she had been bed-ridden for about two decades in her home in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt.
She was suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and sleep deprivation. She was also paralyzed and unable to speak due to her condition. The surgery was arrange as part of a last-ditch effort to save her life.
She was due to start physiotherapy treatment at VPS Burjeeek hospital in Abu Dhabi, her doctors said, according to the Daily Mail.
The World Health Organization (WHO) rates Mexico as one of the countries with the highest rates of obesity. According to WHO data, a shocking 35 percent of Mexican adolescents are overweight.
[Featured Image by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]