Couple go under the knife together and shed 17 stone

Dave and Debra Brassell after losing nine and eight stones

Dave and Debra Brassell in Florida in 2010 when they each weighed 20 stones

First published in NHS & Health News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

A COUPLE have become one of the few husband and wife teams in the country to undergo weight-loss surgery together.

Factory worker Dave Brassell, 44, and wife, Debra, 37, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham, who each previously weighed about 20 stone, say it has transformed their lives.

Mrs Brassell, who works at the town’s Asda store, urged anyone with obesity not to hide, but follow their example.

“Now, I have so much energy and just really enjoy life. I believe having the surgery has prolonged my life,” she said.

The pair, who underwent keyhole weight-loss surgery at Darlington Memorial Hospital’s new bariatric unit, are enjoying being slim for the first time in decades.

Mr Brassell, who works at the PPG aircraft paint factory in Shildon, lost nine stones after undergoing a gastric sleeve implant in January.

Meanwhile, his wife shed more than eight stone after having a gastric bypass last November.

“I think the hardest thing was walking into the seminar for patients who are thinking about having surgery,” she said.

“There were a lot of people there who were even bigger than me.

“It made me think, ‘I am not alone’.”

The couple urged anyone who is struggling with obesity and whose health was affected to talk to their GP about a possible referral for surgery on the NHS.

The Darlington bariatric surgery centre has operated on 30 patients since it opened in September and many more are being prepared for surgery. Spending on NHS weight-loss surgery in the North-East has soared in recent years.

In 2008-09, £1.7m was spent on weight-loss surgery, but that more than doubled to £3.6m in 2009-10 and rose again to 4.6m in 2010-11.

Comments (6)

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12:27pm Thu 24 May 12

J.Tull says...

I can't see this story making the front page of The Ethiopian Observer somehow.
I can't see this story making the front page of The Ethiopian Observer somehow. J.Tull
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Thu 24 May 12

antagonist1 says...

if only they had gone on a diet together......
if only they had gone on a diet together...... antagonist1
  • Score: 0

11:47pm Thu 24 May 12

smokin says...

my son went to slimming world and lost more than 10 stone proving that you don't need to burden the hospitals with things that can be done without surgery
my son went to slimming world and lost more than 10 stone proving that you don't need to burden the hospitals with things that can be done without surgery smokin
  • Score: 0

8:28am Fri 25 May 12

*click* says...

J.Tull wrote:
I can't see this story making the front page of The Ethiopian Observer somehow.
What a crass and stupid comment that is...to think that could be remotely funny?? Would you like to explain to someone like me who is obviously less wise than you what it actually means?
[quote][p][bold]J.Tull[/bold] wrote: I can't see this story making the front page of The Ethiopian Observer somehow.[/p][/quote]What a crass and stupid comment that is...to think that could be remotely funny?? Would you like to explain to someone like me who is obviously less wise than you what it actually means? *click*
  • Score: 0

8:46am Sat 26 May 12

J.Tull says...

*click* wrote:
J.Tull wrote:
I can't see this story making the front page of The Ethiopian Observer somehow.
What a crass and stupid comment that is...to think that could be remotely funny?? Would you like to explain to someone like me who is obviously less wise than you what it actually means?
My comment wasn't meant to be funny . My point is that, here we are with half the world starving and The Northern Echo think it's fit to put a story of a couple opting for surgery to lose weight insead of cutting down there eating.
I think the people of Ethiopia and other third world countries would find this story sick.
[quote][p][bold]*click*[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]J.Tull[/bold] wrote: I can't see this story making the front page of The Ethiopian Observer somehow.[/p][/quote]What a crass and stupid comment that is...to think that could be remotely funny?? Would you like to explain to someone like me who is obviously less wise than you what it actually means?[/p][/quote]My comment wasn't meant to be funny . My point is that, here we are with half the world starving and The Northern Echo think it's fit to put a story of a couple opting for surgery to lose weight insead of cutting down there eating. I think the people of Ethiopia and other third world countries would find this story sick. J.Tull
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Sat 26 May 12

*click* says...

Thanks for the reply, it does look as if you're trying, and failing, to be funny although I do accept you weren't .
Thanks for the reply, it does look as if you're trying, and failing, to be funny although I do accept you weren't . *click*
  • Score: 0

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