Charity will pay for surgery

Chris Degnan of Furlong Way, Holdingham. EMN-170116-171731001
Chris Degnan of Furlong Way, Holdingham. EMN-170116-171731001

Sleaford award-winning super slimmer Chris Degnan has finally secured funding to complete the final step of his weight-loss journey.

Former burger-shack chef Chris, 32, shed 14st after rejecting gastric band surgery and instead working at Sleaford Leisure Centre with a personal trainer to shrink from his peak weight of 27st 9lb.

The dramatic weight loss left him with folds of excess skin about which he approached his GP for a referral for surgery to get it removed. But he was shocked to learn that despite his punishing daily routine of healthy eating and morning work outs he still did not fit all the criteria for funding of the op on the NHS.

He told The Standard that although his Body Mass Index had lowered from 59 to 28, he was still not under the 25 threshold to be eligible for surgery.

Chris, a window cleaner from Holdingham, said he could not afford the £8,000 fee for a private op and said: “It has put me off running because of the noise of the skin flapping around.”

Finally around Christmas he was given the details of the Bromhead Medical Charity in Lincoln – a little-known county-based charity which helps people locally to cover the cost of treatment they cannot achieve under the NHS.

He told The Standard: “At first I thought I could go through the NHS. Finally last Monday I contacted the charity and I wish I had done it months ago. This was the final piece of the puzzle. I was shaking like a leaf when the lady rang me back and again when they visited me on Monday with it signed, sealed and delivered.”

He has an appointment today (Wednesday) with his doctor to get a referral to the charity’s own designated plastic surgeon and abdominoplasty surgery will be within the next three months.

Excited Chris, who won a Sleaford Town Award last year for overcoming adversity, said: “The charity have a dedicated hospital they use, the Spire Hospital in Leicester.”

Talking about not meeting the NHS criteria, he said: “There is a risk with any operation and it’s all new to me, but this is something I have wanted for the best part of a year and I have researched it – I cannot wait.”

He wants the extracted skin recorded as he reckons it could weigh at least a stone.

Chris will need 6-8 weeks to recover before going back to the gym. He added: “My wife Emma is excited too, but not looking forward to six weeks with doing nothing round the house.”

Having done half marathons and mud runs for health charities, he wants to raise awareness of Bromhead and raise funds to help more people in situations like him.