WARNING: TRIGGERING IMAGES
Happier: Malissa says she preferred being fat, after her gastric band surgery sparked anorexia
A woman who was once Britain’s fattest teenager is now battling with anorexia after her life was turned upside down by a gastric bypass operation. Malissa Jones, 21, lost so much weight that she now tips the scales at just 8 stone. Four years ago, before her surgery, doctors were warning her that she had to take drastic action after ballooning to 34 stone. They warned her she had to shed 20 stone or would die within months. Now the pendulum has swung the other way for Malissa, from Selby, North Yorkshire with doctors now warning she could die in six months unless she increases her food intake.
Malissa told Closer magazine: ‘I would urge anyone wanting surgery to lose weight healthily. I wish I had. Surgery can have consequences you might never have imagined.’ Malissa was the youngest person in the world to have a stomach bypass when surgeons performed the £10,000 NHS operation in January 2008.
She consumed 15,000 calories a day from gorging on chocolate, crisps and junk food – seven and a half times the recommended 2,000 calories for a girl of her age. But parents Richard and Dawn were unable to stop her food cravings.
Despite the risk of drastic surgery in such a young girl, she survived the operation and within a year lost more than half her body weight. She fell pregnant with boyfriend Chris Robottom, 22. In February, after six months’ pregnancy, she became ill with liver failure and her baby had to be delivered by Caesarean. Sadly her baby, Harry, died an hour after delivery. Doctors then revealed Malissa’s failure to eat properly had led to him being malnourished. Malissa’s weight dropped rapidly as she lost interest in food and doctors have now diagnosed her as anorexic. ‘Food made my physically sick,’ she said. ‘I had to force myself to eat.’ Her daily diet is now three cooked carrots, two portions of parsnip and a roast potato, which provides 300 calories. Doctors have advised her to eat between 500 and 1,000 calories a day. Malissa, who is 5ft 8in tall, says: ‘I am not deliberately starving myself but, right now, I would rather die than force myself to eat.
Taken two years post-surgery, Malissa carried 2st of excess skin
Malissa is unhappy with how thin she is but swallowing is painful and she eats so little that she frequently ends up in hospital
‘I’m too thin. My body shocks me. But swallowing is painful. Eating a tiny amount gives me stomach cramps or makes me sick.
‘My consultant says, if I continue like this, I only have six months to live.
‘I will most likely die of a heart attack, so I must persevere with eating. I am trying, but it is so hard.’
Clinical psychologist Dr Funke Baffour from Waltham Cross, Herts, said: ‘There would have been psychological reasons for Malissa’ obesity that a gastric band would not have dealt with. ‘It is not surprising she has swapped one emotional relationship with food for another. ‘Perhaps, subconsciously, Malissa is so afraid of becoming obese again, she is stopping herself from eating.’