Former 'world's fattest man' moving from US to UK to avail $137,000 in free healthcare
59-year-old Paul Mason's decision to return has not gone down well with people in Ipswich, with some saying he is taking undue advantage of the health care facilities in the
A man who was once described as the 'world's fattest man' and was also the subject of TLC show 'The World's Fattest Man' has revealed he will be returning from the US to his native UK to avail an estimate $137,000 in free healthcare.
According to the Daily Mail, 59-year-old Paul Mason, originally from Ipswich, Suffolk, weighed almost 1,000 pounds at his heaviest, before gastric band surgery in 2009 saw him shed close to 700 pounds.
But following a bad breakup recently, Mason reportedly started putting on weight again, going from 275 pounds to 500 pounds, and has since been constantly hospitalized in Athol, Massachusetts.
Now fearing that the medical costs in the US will cripple him financially, Mason announced his intention to move back to the UK, detailing his reasons in a Facebook post where he also spoke about how he reached such a low point in his life once again.
"After nearly 5 years living in the US, the time has come for me to soon return to the UK," he wrote, adding that he had made "wrong decisions which led to bad consequences," including letting his visa expire and "moving in with someone who was a bad influence."
"Looking forward, I need to return to the UK where I will be eligible for the assistance I need to get my life back on track," he explained. "Thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged me over the years. It's clear that what I'm dealing with is something that needs to be solved through regular therapy."
The Mail reported that Mason's addiction to food came roaring back after his break-up with fiancée Rebecca Mountain last year and that he once again began gorging on pizza and crisps all night after the split.
The weight the 59-year-old has once again put on has meant he now gets around on sticks and is desperate for a double knee replacement and an operation to fix a herniated stomach staple which he damaged by over-eating.
He was charged for stealing from a Walmart this past month, with police finding $222 worth of aftershave, perfume, phone charges and earphones in his shopping trolley.
That news has not gone down well with his hometown of Ipswich, with a neighbor arguing that he should not be allowing the circumstances in his life to affect his weight.
"To leave the country and come back just because we have a free NHS is wrong — although it's completely understandable why you would do it," he said. "He should be looking not just at the weight but at how he thinks and feels so he can cope better when he's in a bad way."
Speaking to the Sun, he hit back at criticism at his impending move to the UK. "I can understand people in Britain saying, 'Why should my tax pay for him?'" he said. "But I'm no sponger — I deserve it as much as any Brit. I contributed to society when I was working."
"We all fall apart when things get tough," he continued. "Doing it over here in America has been the worst thing I could have done because there's no support. But there is in the UK."