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On my 51st Birthday, I weighed 144kg, that’s 22stone 6lbs. A BMI of 46. I was developing blood pressure issues and was borderline diabetic.

I wasn’t walking anymore – I was shuffling. I think probably the worst was the mortification of having to ask an air hostess for a seatbelt extension.

Having been introduced to some former triple XLs abroad who had had various gastric surgeries, and seen how much weight they had lost, I secured a consultation with William Robb M.D., F.R.C.S.I. (Gen Surg).

William Robb was informative, gentle and refreshingly non-judgemental. He went through the qualification procedures for surgery, and the pros and cons of the operation. He also informed me that the operation could be covered by my VHI plan.

Nine months after surgery I had lost 9 stone, 39% of my body weight and my BMI was 28. Not everything went to plan with the operation but that only went to prove that William Robb and the Blackrock WeightCare team are fantastic and genuinely caring.

This operation saved my life.