Mum weighing 23st starved to death after gastric bypass left her unable to eat

A mum-of-three who weighed 23 stone died after she struggled to eat following a gastric bypass operation.

Kimberley Wall, 44, had undergone the procedure in 2008 over fears her obesity would kill her – but during the next ten years her weight plummeted until she weighed just five stone.

The former nursery nurse and hairdresser could only manage two mouthfuls of food when it was given to her and she was so weak she was barely able to walk or even get out of bed.

Despite repeated attempts by doctors to treat her, starving Miss Wall, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was admitted to Fairfield Hospital in Bury after her condition deteriorated.

Tragically, she died a week later with tests showed she had suffered heart failure due to malnutrition contributed to by the gastric by-pass operation.

Last week a coroner concluded there were no errors with the procedure itself but said Miss Wall died on October 8 last year from long term complications stemming from the surgery.

Miss Hall had undergone the operation at a private hospital on the NHS after she began comfort eating when she suffered a miscarriage at 18.

She subsequently complained of suffering crippling stomach pains, nausea, fatigue and low self-confidence.

In 2014 she went public about her procedure saying she did it on the recommendation of a consultant despite concerns from her family.

She told a newspaper: "I knew it was a drastic step, but I'd tried every diet under the sun without any success, so the idea of being able to make a lasting change was very appealing.

"I thought of myself running around in the park with the children, and was drawn to the idea. Now I've gone from being too fat to move to being weak and undernourished.

"I thought the operation would give me the life I'd dreamed of – but it turns out I couldn't have been more wrong. I could barely eat any food. Whatever I did manage to swallow made my stomach turn. I felt sick all the time.

'I completely regret having the gastric bypass. I wish I'd never done it. It's just such a shame that I had to get to this point to realise that I was happier when I was overweight.'"

Miss Wall's mother Muriel Stephenson told the Heywood inquest her daughter had gained the weight over about 18 years, ultimately reaching about 23 stone.

She at first loved the effects of her 2008 gastric bypass operation, which saw her weight plummet in the first year.

Her mum said: 
"She loved the fact she lost so much weight but she could hardly eat anything.

"It would just be a couple of spoonfuls and then by that stage she had had enough and she was also often sick.

"As time went by she became more and more depressed, paranoid and worried about everything. She was living on her own with her children and some days she was unable to would get them off to school and would spend the day in bed. She never managed to eat very much – although she loved food.

Over the last couple of years [she] was very frail and could hardly walk or get out of bed."

Miss Wall was repeatedly admitted to hospital over a six year period before being referred to see a specialist.

However her mother told the inquest she struggled to get any answers over what was causing the pain.

She said her daughter needed carers who came in to help with food and she was taking antibiotics: "The hospital thought she had an eating disorder but we strongly disagree with that.

"She wanted to eat but couldn't manage to. She was admitted again in the August and was very ill with pains. She was frail and confused and she weighed around five stone.

Miss Wall was about to be discharged when her blood pressure dropped suddenly and she was transferred to intensive care.

She improved and was sent home, but then collapsed and was readmitted and put on 24/7 oxygen.

Her mum recalled: "At 1.30am we got a call from the hospital to say she had deteriorated and that we should go but she had died before the family where able to get there."

Miss Wall's GP Dr Richard Darling told the inquest there were initially questions about whether she could have Crohn's disease but that was ruled out and bipolar disorder was not evident.

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