Couple lose 22 stone thanks to 'his and hers' £6k gastric bypass ops in Lithuania
Catherine Corner, 31, and Dean Corner, 33, were 23 stone and 28 stone when they approached doctors for help losing weight. Before meeting Catherine, Dean managed to lose weight naturally and even ran a marathon but him and his wife became a bad influence on each other – eating takeaways three times a week.
And despite not using contraception for 10 years, Catherine never fell pregnant. She was shocked when medics said she needed a BMI of less than 25 to qualify for NHS IVF - and she had a BMI of 48.3. She suffers with polycystic ovaries (PCOS) and an underactive thyroid making her susceptible to weight gain and fertility issues. So she saved up and travelled to Lithuania for a gastric bypass - with Dean doing the same just a month later.
In just a year, Catherine has lost 10 stone, and is now 13st, and has gone from a size 24 to a size 14. Dean has lost 13 stone and is now 16st, and has swapped his size 4XL clothes for size L.
The pair have been told they now stand a higher chance of falling pregnant naturally - but also now qualify for NHS IVF.
Catherine a director of a stationery company, from Redcar, said: She said: "I feel so much lighter, healthier and a lot more energised. I had sleep apnoea which has gone away and now I have regular periods for the first time in my life. Before I wouldn't eat breakfast and lunch and would be starving when I got in and would binge on a massive takeaway."
Dean, an administrator, added: "My size was starting to get to me - I stopped wanting to go out with Catherine and our couple friends. It was affecting our relationship. I'd lost 10 stone naturally before surgery and ran the Redcar marathon in 2013 but I soon fell back into bad habits."
Dean had always struggled with his weight and was used to being the bigger one in his friendship group. Catherine says she's struggled with her weight since childhood, and as an adult tried Weight Watchers and Slimming World.
"Because of my PCOS and hormonal issues I would lose four stone and gain it back," she said.
When the pair met in 2013 they piled on more eating three takeaways a week.
Dean added: "When I met Catherine we became bad influences on each other. Life got in the way and I put all the weight back on."
At the same time they were trying for a baby - without success. She said: "When I was 30 I realised I needed help."
The turning point came when when Catherine went to a doctor to ask about her fertility and was told she had to have a BMI between 19 and 25 for at least six months to get IVF. The doctor suggested a gastric bypass - where staples create a small pouch at the top of the stomach. She travelled out to Kaunas, Lithuania, for the operation in March 2022 on her own.
She had the procedure and stayed just over a week in Lithuania before travelling back to the UK. Within a couple of months she could see the results and Dean booked the same procedure when he sold his house in February 2022. The couple then swapped takeaways for nutritious homecooked meals and now share meals when they eat out.
Catherine added: "When we go out we share meals and we eat a lot of protein and vegetables. I eat much smaller portions than before but your mentality doesn't change straight away it requires hard work to make the right choices."
They are also more active.
She said: "Dean couldn't be as active when he was bigger, occasionally it would cause arguments because I would want to be out walking and doing thinks. Now we're fitter we can do more things. We've ticked a lot of things off our bucket list such as going to see huskies in Lapland. It has opened a lot more doors. We can be comfortable when we travel and even stay in hostels."
The couple hope to start trying for a baby soon – as medical advice is to wait a year after the operation.
Catherine said: "Naturally it's been a good support going through it together within a month of each other. It's a tool, not a quick fix."
Breakfast - A coffee
Lunch - A subway or a massive jacket potato
Dinner - a takeaway
Breakfast - greasy spoon fry-up followed by cakes
Lunch - cafes for coffee and cake, a lot of sandwiches sandwich and cake
Tea - takeaway after having an evening meal
Breakfast - doesn't eat breakfast
Lunch - a healthy burrito with protein, vegetables and beans
Dinner - Chicken, vegetables and rice
Breakfast - protein shake
Lunch - meal prepped salmon and vegetables
Dinner- a home-made curry