ORANGE, Mass. — Once weighing 980 pounds and a contender for the dismaying title of world’s fattest man, Paul Mason lost an astonishing 650 pounds after gastric bypass surgery five years ago. But he was left with a cruel, perpetual reminder of the person he had once been: 100 or so pounds of loose skin that enveloped him like a living shroud.
It is still everywhere: hanging from his arms, draping in folds over his midsection, encircling his thighs, frequently becoming infected, and so cumbersome that it puts him in a wheelchair most of the time. “It’s like carrying around a couple of children,” Mr. Mason said.
Mr. Mason, who is 54, could not find a doctor willing to remove the extra skin in England, where he lived until recently. But through a combination of strong will, good fortune, leaps of faith and the kindness of many strangers, he is now living here deep in the Massachusetts countryside and preparing for the first of a series of skin-removal surgeries in New York City.
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