Franco en route to Guadalajara. Franco en route to Guadalajara.

Mexico’s fattest man to undergo treatment

500-kilogram Aguascalientes man left his bed this week for the first time in six years

Mexico’s heaviest man left his bed this week for the first time in six years to seek treatment at a specialty clinic in Guadalajara.

Juan Pedro Franco, 32, of Aguascalientes now weighs 500 kilograms but he has been heavy most of his life. Born weighing a healthy 3.4 kilograms, his accelerated weight gain — estimated at about 10 kilograms per year — made him 230 kilograms by the time he was 17.

Franco’s mother, María de Jesús Salas, explained that more than 100 doctors have seen her son, giving him rigorous diets “but he never lost a single gram.”

Discrimination prevented the young Franco from finishing his secondary school studies: “I was mocked at school . . . even the teachers bullied me. One of them told me he didn’t want to see me there anymore.”

A car accident later kept Franco bedridden for two years, at the end of which his weight had surpassed 300 kilograms though even with reduced mobility he was still able to tend to his business.

But six years ago he was diagnosed with pneumonia, which due to complications left him in a temporary coma, connected to a respirator and taking over 20 pills per day. He remained in bed until this week.

Franco’s condition has resulted in diabetes, hypertension and lung conditions that put his life at risk. So he was moved to Guadalajara.

Aided by his relatives and a team of doctors and paramedics led by bariatric specialist José Antonio Castañeda, Franco was led to a one-tonne truck equipped with resuscitation equipment and an oxygen tank. His patient, Castañeda said, was at risk of suffering organ failure, particularly the liver or heart, during the trip.

Franco’s family also had to dismantle and transport his bed, which had been adapted for his use, because the hospital lacked any such equipment.

Once at the Guadalajara medical facility, explained Castañeda, Franco will be treated with dieting and alternative therapies during a period of six months to reduce his weight by 40 kilograms. A gastric bypass will then be performed.

“Given that no specialized medical equipment is made for patients of Franco’s weight, we will be performing all necessary studies with equipment borrowed from the Guadalajara zoo,” said the physician.

Franco told the newspaper Milenio he wants to be able to walk again “and be as normal a person as possible.”

According to a Wikipedia list of the world’s heaviest people, on which Franco does not appear, he is the second-heaviest person in the world. The heaviest is a 25-year-old Saudi Arabian man who weighs 610 kilograms.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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