A 16-year-old boy who once weighed a staggering 24 stone has lost almost half his body weight in just 14 months.
Mahesh Bhubathi, from Anantapur in southern India, who suffers from Prader Willy Syndrome, was so severely obese he was unable to walk, change his clothes or shower unassisted.
The teenager, whose speech was also affected by the disorder, was so mercilessly bullied over his size, his mother, Sathala Sulochana, who works in a hospital, was forced to take him out of school.
Desperate to help her son but unable to afford treatment, a bariatric surgeon offered Mahesh, who also follows a strict diet and exercise regimen, free bariatric surgery in January last year.
Although Mahesh, who once ate enough to feed 10 people, requires additional weight-loss surgery before he will be a healthy size, he is now able to speak and walk independently, with his mother even considering putting him back in school.
Mahesh Bhubathi, who once weighed a staggering 24 stone has lost almost half his body weight in just 14 months after undergoing radical weight-loss surgery (pictured after)
Due to an insatiable appetite, he used to eat enough to feed 10 people (pictured before)
A surgeon performed bariatric surgery for free as Mahesh’s family were unable to pay for it
‘In just one year, his life has changed a lot’
Speaking of the change in her son since his surgery, Sathani said: ‘I’m so happy that my son can walk, can speak like normal children.
‘In just one year, his life has changed a lot.
‘Today, he doesn’t need my help and does most of the things himself.
‘I’m now thinking to send him to school again.’
Mahesh (pictured before) was so large he was unable to walk, change his clothes or shower
He is now independent and does not rely as much on his family to help him (pictured after)
Mahesh, whose weight affected his speech, has learnt to talk since the surgery (pictured after)
After dropping out of school due to bullies, his mother is considering re-enrolling him (after)
WHAT IS PRADER-WILLI SYNDROME?
Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic condition that causes problems including constant urges to eat food, restricted growth and reduced muscle tone.
Other potential issues include learning difficulties, lack of sexual development and behavioral problems such as tantrums or stubbornness.
The rare condition, which affects one in every 15,000 children born in England, is caused by a defect on chromosome number 15 – and happens by chance.
Because there is no cure, treatment aims to manage the symptoms – with parents of sufferers urged to get their children to stick to a healthy, balanced diet.
Children with the syndrome can eat up to six times more than children of the same age – and still feel hungry.
It was first described in 1956 by Swiss doctors A Prader, A Labhart and H Willi.
Ate enough for 10 people
Describing the impact of Mahesh’s condition, Sathala, who also has a healthy younger son, added: ‘He was underweight, not an obese baby, at the time of his birth but started gaining weight after some illness.
‘He would always feel hungry and eat whatever was available in the house.
‘In his single meal, he would eat food which would have been enough for 10 people otherwise.’
Speaking of her decision to withdraw Mahesh from school, Sathani added: ‘Children used to make fun of him as he was not able to walk or play due to his massive size. He had to even quit his studies.
‘From changing clothes to taking a bath, we had to help him in everything. It was very painful to see him in such a condition.
‘I was worried about him and wanted to take him to any good doctor but [I] lacked [the] financial resources.’
As well as his surgery, Mahesh is also following a strict diet and exercise regimen (after)
Within just three months he lost around 100lbs (45kg) from 330lbs (150kg) (after)
Mahesh’s mother says his life has changed ‘a lot’ (pictured after having his height measured)
Although his weight loss has been dramatic, Mahesh requires further surgery in April
Lost half his body weight in just over a year
Mahesh’s life changed when the bariatric surgeon Dr Ravikanth Kongara offered him treatment free of charge.
Dr Kongara said: ‘He was suffering from Prader Willie Syndrome, a genetic disorder which often leads to obesity in children as they constantly hungry.
‘When we admitted him in the hospital, he weighed 330lbs (150kg). Within three months after his surgery, he lost almost around 100lbs (45kg).
‘Fourteen months after the surgery he has lost almost half of his weight.
‘He is expected to lose another 30lbs-to-40lbs (14-to-18kg) in the next surgery in April.’