I weighed 29st aged 19 but a gastric sleeve saved my life

I weighed 29st aged 19 but a gastric sleeve saved my life

I weighed nearly 30st at 19 years old and feared I’d die young – but after paying £3,500 for a gastric sleeve in Egypt I shed a third of my body weight

  • Mollie Hull, now 20, from Staffordshire, took matters into her own hands
  • Warning: This article contains graphic photos
  • READ MORE: Weight loss coach who helps clients ‘reboot their metabolisms’ shares his top four tips for quickly dropping pounds 

A young woman who feared her weight would kill her when she tipped the scales at 29 stone says her life has been saved by a gastric sleeve operation.

Mollie Hull, 20, from Stone in Staffordshire, was wearing clothes in size 30 and said she felt like the ‘literal elephant of the room’ whenever she went out.

She was even having to take days off work as a dental nurse due to exhaustion because of her weight and feared she might end up in a wheelchair.

After worrying the NHS waiting list for weight loss surgery would be too long, she instead forked out £3,500 for an operation in Egypt a year ago – and she has never looked back.

A year on from the operation, she has now lost 11st and is still losing an average of half a stone per month.

Mollie Hull, 20, has lost 22 stone after travelling to Egypt to have a gastric sleeve operation after fearing her weight would eventually kill her (pictured left, before and right, after)

Before her operation, Mollie was gorging on takeaways, pizzas and crisps as her weight continued to creep up. 

Looking back, Mollie says she was obese from the age of 10, which meant she would often be excluded from fun activities.

She said: ‘Even as a child, being bigger meant I would always get left out of things with friends. I would just be sat at home eating.

‘I remember having to buy adult size stuff for my school uniform. It was just terrible. I was the only one of my peers like that. I knew something was wrong.

‘I ended up going into foster care at 13 and eating myself into comfort. At 15 years old I was already over 20 stone.

Since having the operation a year ago Mollie (pictured now) has shed the pounds and has completely changed her diet

Mollie, pictured now, saved up £3,500 for flights to Egypt and the operation, and is still steadily losing weight a year on

Mollie, pictured now, said she is now virtually free of health worries after losing weight from the operation

‘It was the only thing that was regular. It was the only aspect of control that I had.’

After growing up in care, Mollie was 27 stone by the time she turned 18 and left the system.

But as she was now solely responsible for her diet, she says this didn’t help things and she continued to pile on the pounds.

Mollie said: ‘McDonald’s, pizza, no vegetables. It wasn’t even seven vegetables a week – let alone seven a day.

‘I would often eat up to eight bags of crisps a day as well as chocolate grab bags.

‘I’d have cheesy chips for lunch, chicken nuggets and chips for dinner, often followed by family sized dessert such as a sharing tiramisu or six donuts.

‘This all came with many health issues such as high blood pressure, prediabetes, only being able to walk 100 yards or less and not being able to walk up stairs.’

The dental nurse (pictured before) claims she was obese from the age of 10, and was already 27st at the age of 18

The 20-year-old, pictured before her operation, said she often had to take time off work due to exhaustion

Mollie said she feared she may end up in a wheelchair due to her weight and was prediabetic before the operation

Mollie, pictured with her surgeon in Egypt, has now switched jobs to become a dental nurse as she has the energy to be working more

A picture of Mollie’s stomach, which was reduced in size by 75% during the gastric sleeve operation

Due to her size, she was put on a waiting list for gastric sleeve surgery on the NHS, but she was too eager to wait and took matters into her own hands instead.

After researching a clinic in Egypt offering the operation for a cheap rate that meant that she would pay £3,500 including flights, she decided to save the money and book herself in.

The NHS says anyone thinking of travelling abroad for surgery should ‘understand the risks involved’ and consult with their GP before making any final decision. 

As she prepared for the operation, which removed 75% of her stomach, Mollie was put on a strict liquid diet which helped her lose a stone beforehand. 

She said: ‘After the op I initially felt very unwell and it took me a good month to feel better but I could start to feel physical changes straight away, even just walking around without the weight on my back.

‘It just felt very surreal thinking that this is the start to the rest of my life.

‘I’m so glad to be alive and to be honest I went in expecting to die as you hear so many horror stories about surgeries abroad.’

Since going under the knife, Mollie has lost 11 stone combined with regular exercise and a new and improved diet.

And she said: ‘I’ve also changed career paths from a dental receptionist to a nurse as before I couldn’t even stand, let alone stand for 10 hours.’

Mollie’s diet


Breakfast: two sausage McMuffin from McDonald’s or a full fry up with three sausages and sausage hash browns. Sometimes followed by four pieces of toast.

Snack: two or three packs of crisps, Kinder Bueno and a sharebag of sweets.

Lunch: plate of cheesy chips and sauce or stack of oatcakes with various toppings.

Snack: several more bags of crisps – often eating up to eight in one day. More chocolate and sweets.

Dinner: chicken nuggets and chips or ribs with sauce. No fruit or vegetables in the week.

Dessert A family-sized pudding such as sharing tiramisu or six donuts. 


Breakfast: – overnight oats or on the go protein porridge

Snack: – cereal bar or low calorie snack (under 100kcl)

Lunch: – high protein noodles for on the go or balanced meal of fish and veg with a small portion of potatoes as carbohydrates.

Snack: zero calorie jelly or fruit.

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