A 58 stone dad has shed nearly two thirds of his body weight – because he was scared to have sex with his wife in case he crushed her.
Now Paul Tuthill, 44, say the couple “can’t keep their hands off each other” after he dropped an astonishing 40 stone.
The dad-of-three, who was injured in 2010 after slipping on stairs, got so large that medics were unable to find scales to weigh him on.
As the injury grew steadily worse, so did his mobility, leaving Paul unable to walk – and rapidly piling on the pounds.
After having to give up work, Paul – who had been a fitness enthusiast weighing a healthy 16.5st – put on over 42st while housebound.
He became depressed and in late 2017 he made multiple suicide attempts.
After being offered the money for gastric surgery by his concerned sister, Paul’s life turned around and he managed to lose over 24st before the op.
Paul – who is married to Pauline Tuthill, 43, a business solutions advisor – is now a healthy 15st and has been working as a tour guide in the Scottish Highlands.
Paul, from Inverness, Scotland, said: “I got so big I was sleeping in the living room with a commode as I couldn’t use the toilet.
“My sex life with my wife was non-existent. I couldn’t go on holiday or days out with my family.
“At my biggest I don’t even know for sure what weight I was as the scales only went up to 54st but I think it was about 58st.
“My legs had swelled to a metre in circumference, I could literally feel that I was dying.
“I was a broken human being. The surgery, and some wonderful people who helped me, saved my life.
“I have to pinch myself these days when I think of how far I’ve come.”
Pauline said: “It’s life changing having my husband back and for him to be able to walk with me and go up hills.
“I walk lots so for him to come with me is fantastic. It just feels like I’ve got my husband back.
“Our relationship is definitely on track now and back to where it was.
“There is far less stress and strain now.”
After giving up work due to chronic back pain in February 2010, Paul rapidly gained weight until he was unable to move and became housebound.
As his busy family became unable to care for him, Paul was forced to rely on carers to look after his daily needs including washing, eating and using the toilet.
The NHS were forced to provide him with a specialist wheelchair for the seriously obese which had to be shipped in from Denmark.
“I’ve since worked out that the strong pain meds I was on were making it almost impossible for me to control my appetite,” he said.
“It wasn’t that I was eating that badly, I just had zero portion control.
“I was so big that I couldn’t shower, or wash myself, I couldn’t wipe my own bum.
“My wife became my carer as well as working and looking after our children.
“But I couldn’t see a way out of the mess I was in, my back was still in excruciating pain everyday and my mental health was in tatters.
“It got to the point where every night I wished I was dead, I felt I was holding my family back, I wanted it all to be over.
“It got so bad that I made multiple attempts to take my own life.
“I even chucked myself on the floor of my room so they wouldn’t be able to get me up when they found me.”
But Paul survived and was offered help from his sister to pay for £15k gastric surgery that he had been denied on the NHS.
Deciding to try to lose some weight before his first appointment in November 2017, he stuck to a restricted intake of 1800 calories a day.
He said: “I decided to drink as much water as I could and started counting calories, and the weight just dropped off me.
“I went from 58st to 46st in just a few months but I was told that still wasn’t light enough to have the surgery, I was told I definitely wouldn’t survive the operation.
“I left the appointment feeling extremely demoralised, but I didn’t want to give up so I kept up my calorie counting and managed to get to 34st by April 2018.”
After reaching his goal, Paul was booked in for mini-gastric bypass surgery on 8th May 2018.
The five-hour operation was a success and Paul went on to lose a stone a month after sticking to his healthy calorie diet.
Despite this, Paul – who returned to college in December 2018 – was still unable to walk very well.
He said: “I reached out to physiotherapists, I did online research, I set myself small goals and gradually I started to see improvements.
“I just wanted my life back.
“I went from wheelchair, to zimmer frame, to crutches, to one crutch, to a walking stick, to no walking stick with in three months.
“It felt amazing to be able to get about independently again.
“People would clap me as I toddled about the college campus, some of them would even walk with me.
“When I got down to 25st I decided to get back into cycling, it’s just been amazing.”
In the last two years the devoted dad has lost a further 10st – an achievement which he says has ‘transformed his whole life’.
“Before we simply couldn’t function as a family,” he said.
“The kids were living with a guy who would clearly be dead soon.
“I can go for family walks now and go away with my wife.
“We were unable to even sleep in the same bed for years and now we can our sex life is back on track which is great.”
The devoted husband had a nine-hour operation to remove excess skin on 1st December 2020 – during which surgeons removed over 11lbs of loose flesh.
“Although I still have more skin to remove, on my arms and legs, I feel amazing,” he said.
“There was so much skin that it was actually really hard for me to use the toilet as it would hang down over my privates and get in the way.
“I’m really proud of how far I’ve come, it’s been small little goals and small stepping stones that have helped change everything.”