Obese woman refused NHS op reveals how she went private for FREE weight loss procedure At 33st Sara Agintas, 43, was refused 14,000 NHS gastric bypassPrivate London surgeon offered service free of charge
'I am so lucky. It was my fault I was fat,' she admits
16:28 GMT, 19 June 2012
Sara Agintas, tipped the scales at a hefty 33 stone, but now is looking forward to a brighter future
A 33st benefits claimant who said she was 'too fat to work' has now secured part-time work after undergoing complimentary weight loss surgery.
Sara Agintas, 43, from Milton Keynes, grabbed the headlines after she demanded a 14,000 gastric band op on
the NHS, while refusing to diet or exercise because it was 'too hard'.
Despite her public plea health specialists refused to operate, however a private London surgeon came forward and offered to carry out the two-and-a-half hour procedure free of charge.
Since undergoing the op at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London on May 24, during which 85 per cent of her stomach was removed, Mrs Agintas has lost 11bs and gone from a size 38 to a 32.
And now with a newfound sense of confidence she has also got a job as a part-time Avon representative.
While she's happy working for the cosmetics brand, the mother-of-six said she would eventually like a permanent role at Tesco as she moves towards her target weight of 15st.
She said: 'When the surgeon offered to operate, it was like a dream come true. I am so lucky. It was my fault I was fat. I did not deserve help, but I needed it. I could hardly move at 33st.'
Mrs Agintas who receives 15,000 a year in state benefits, says she binged on junk food for 25 years, admitting to spending up to 200 a week on takeaways and downing 12 'small' cans of lager a day while expecting her sixth child.
She is mother to Gemma, 25, Lauren, 21, Thomas, 18, Sam, 13, Hannah, 12, and Zoe, nine. While doctors warned her of the health dangers she insisted that she found it 'too hard to diet' and said exercise hurt. She also complained she was too fat to work.
In March, as a final resort she pleaded for taxpayers to shell out for the weight-loss surgery as she could not fit in an office chair or a holiday plane seat.
But when a private surgeon in West London heard of her predicament, he felt sorry for her and offered to perform the op for free. Last month Mrs Agintas, who lives with her husband Halbin, 42, who works part-time because of a back injury, had the two-and-a-half-hour operation, which has divided her stomach and left a narrow, sleeve-shaped section.
Now limited now to small food portions for life, she has lost 11lb in weight since coming home and gone from a size 38 to a size 32. Instead of gorging on takeaways and junkfood Mrs Agintas has a Weetabix for breakfast, a scrambled egg for lunch, followed by a plate of potatoes and vegetables in the evening.
While working towards her target weight of 15st and Mrs Agintas is also determined to help three of her children, who are judged obese, to lose weight – although she does not want them to go through the same risky operation.
She told Closer magazine: 'I will never eat McDonald's again. The sleeve is not a miracle cure. I have got a lot of work to do, but it is the best thing I ever did. The sleeve is a dangerous operation. I could have died, but I took the chance because I thought my weight was going to kill me.'
Family values: Sarah Agintas, pictured with her husband Halbin, is mother to Gemma, 25, Lauren, 21, Thomas, 18, Sam, 13, Hannah, 12, and Zoe, nine – but says it was her pregnancies which forced her to binge on junk food
She added: 'For the first time, I am excited about my future.'
Mrs Agintas first became pregnant aged 17 by her boyfriend of just a few months. She said she was delighted by the pregnancy because she had always looked forward to being a mother, and at 6ft, she was 15st. But it was then that she developed unhealthy cravings for junk food that saw her weight go up and down, throughout the next five pregnancies.
'I ate a jar of pickled onions a day,
followed by three cakes and three packets of crisps. For dinner, I’d
have two pork chops with veg followed by two Big Mac meals – I ate for
two!,' she told Closer.
She moved into a one-bed council flat when she split up with her boyfriend a few months after becoming pregnant.
When the surgeon offered to operate, it was like a dream come true. I am so lucky. It was my fault I was fat. I did not deserve help…
After giving birth to Gemma, Mrs Agintas weighed 16st and claims she applied for 15 jobs, but gave up looking for work and turned to cheap junk food when she was unsuccessful. Her weight crept up to 20st in 1990, when she was aged 21 and she measured a size 24.
she met a new partner and moved into his three- bedroom council house,
quickly falling pregnant with her second child, Lauren. She
gained three stone as her eating habits spiralled out of control, and
in one average day she would down three Pot Noodles – at 400 calories a
go – two sausage rolls and four packets of crisps.
When she had her third child, Thomas, two years later, she weighed 28st and would think nothing of having four thickly buttered slices of toast for breakfast. She even fell through the stairs in her house, forcing the council to reinforce the floor.
admits doctors insisted that she needed to restrict her food intake and
make a drastic change to her diet, but she found it too difficult.
Her children have been raised on a diet of junk food and Mrs Agintas
said: 'They ate what I ate – pasties and crisps. I was lazy – it was
easier to phone for a takeaway than cook. I gave them chips four times a
week,' she told the magazine.
Pregnancy: Mrs Agintas says she developed a craving for junk food when she was pregnant and her children raised on a diet of junk food and said 'I was lazy – it was easier to phone for a takeaway than cook. I gave them chips four times a week'
In 1993, Mrs Agintas split
with her boyfriend, who left her for another, skinnier woman and was
forced to move the family into another three-bed council house. But her broken heart was mended three years later, when she met her current partner bricklayer Halbin.
After a whirlwind six month romance, the couple were married, although Mrs Agintas could not afford a big enough wedding dress, so was forced to wear a size 30 trousers and blouse. It was then she began having takeaways meals five nights a week, totalling an eye-watering 200 for the family.
In 1998, she ballooned to 38st after
giving birth to fourth child Sam – in the last few months of the
pregnancy she gorged on a 24-pack of chocolate bars every day. She developed high blood pressure due to
her unhealthy lifestyle, although she did not have any complications
during her pregnancies.
When Sam was a baby, she joined a gym, but admitted she would only do five minutes of exercise and then would then go home to a fish and chip meal afterwards – although she still lost 6st taking her down to 32st. But, in 1999, she piled 2st of the weight back on by the time she had given birth to her fifth child Hannah.
At 34st, Mrs Agintas gave birth to her sixth and final child, Zoe in 2003. She admits to drinking up to 12 small cans of Heineken a day- 50 units a week- for the last few months of her pregnancy – but insists it was safe because she had watered it down with ice.
Mrs Agintas, has tried to encourage her family to eat healthier after experiencing arthritis, diabetes and asthma but for her a gastric bypass was her last and only option.
Read the full interview in this week's Closer magazine on sale now