FOUR years ago, Michael Treadwell was 27 stone and was told by doctors that within ten years he would be dead.
His weight put him in the morbidly obese category, meaning he was so fat that his life was at risk.
But now the 49-year-old is looking forward to a new life, and a smaller pair of trousers, thanks to weight loss surgery.
Eight weeks ago Mr Treadwell, from Greater Leys, had a gastric bypass, surgery which divides the stomach, and has shrunk to 19 stone.
Despite being told by doctors the £15,000 surgery could save his life, he had been repeatedly turned down for funding by NHS Oxfordshire, the county’s primary care trust.
He was finally given the go ahead earlier this year and has lost more than four stone since his pre-operative assessment and a total of seven since his heaviest days.
Mr Treadwell, who was made redundant in 2010 and has been unemployed since, said: “I never really ate breakfast, I’d just have a roll when the sandwich van came round but I loved chocolate.
“It wasn’t so much my diet, but I admit I was a big drinker. It was a big part of my life. But I’ve always been a big boy.”
Mr Treadwell gave up drinking on the advice of his doctors in 2009, but struggled to significantly lower his weight.
He also suffered from type 2 diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnoea and took a cocktail of up to 11 pills a day for a host of other ailments.
Since his op he has been existing on tiny portions of pureed food and says his illnesses have improved, and has been told they could eventually disappear.
It has not all been smooth for Mr Treadwell though.
Since his operation he spent days in hospital with dehydration and the beginnings of kidney failure as a result of not being able to consume enough water or nutrients. But he says he has no regrets.
He said: “Hopefully I’m half way though the 16-week recovery now. Every aspect of my health has improved.
“I’ve been told I will be able to eat my favourite curry again, just not as much, and I am looking forward to enjoying a drink with my friends and family on my 50th in March. Even if it is just an orange juice.”