THE story of a Boolavogue man who lost ten stone following gastric bypass surgery was recounted in a two part RTE TV documentary last week.
Philip O'Brien (34) was one of two Wexford people to feature in ' The Obesity Clinic: Last Chance for Weight Loss'.
The Secretary of Boolavogue United recounted how his weight peaked at 35 stone, after he picked up a sports injury, and was no longer able to take part in the sports he loved.
When he was younger, he played hurling, football, soccer and rugby, but after hurting his back and knee, he found himself on the sidelines. He also had to give up work, and then the weight piled on.
He visited the Weight Management Clinic at St. Columcilles Hospital in Loughlinstown for a series of clinical visits, after which he was placed on a waiting list for gastric bypass surgery. He waited from 2009 to July of this year for the surgery, and since the surgery, he's lost ten stone and is even thinking about playing football again.
Riverchapel resident Lavinia McNeill also featured on the programme. The mother of three began to put on weight after the birth of her first child, and has struggled with her weight since.
She told the programme that since attending the clinic, she is happier in herself, because she can see progress. 'I want to be known for me and not my size,' she said. She is currently on the waiting list for surgery.
While the clinic is the first and only fully operational weight management clinic in the Republic, the doctors there say that surgeries are slow because of pressure on bed space. Just 25 gastric bypass operations were carried out last year, and over 100 people who went through the clinics with the multi disciplinary team, are waiting on surgery.