25-Year-Old Dies After Flying To Turkey For Cheap Gastric Band Operation
Builder Joe Thornley, 25, underwent the budget £3,000 ($3,900) surgery at a time when he weighed 22 stone and desperately wanted the op to slim down, lose fat and restrict how much he ate.
Joe flew from the UK and landed in Istanbul on 9 December last year ahead of the gastric sleeve operation. But after the two-hour surgery Joe texted his mum Julie to say he was 'in a lot of pain'.
Mum-of-two Julie replied 'ask for some painkillers' - which was her last correspondence with her youngest son.
Neither Julie nor her husband Michael, 57, heard from their son for the next two days, and they assumed he was recovering.
But Julie, who lived with Joe in South Normanton, Derbyshire, was devastated when police turned up at her place of work to tell her Joe had died.
The death certificate in Turkey ruled Joe's death was a result of 'natural causes', but a post-mortem in Britain last month ruled Joe's death to be as a result of internal bleeding after the gastric sleeve operation.
Heartbroken Julie said: "It's been tough and just horrible. It was meant to be a Monday to Friday thing - go in on the Monday and be back at home on the Friday.
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"I just want to warn others who are thinking about doing it. I don't want another family to be what we've been through."
As stated on Medicana Istanbul Bahcelievler's website, the sleeve gastrectomy sees doctors remove 70 to 80 percent of the stomach, creating a 'tube shape' which sees 'the amount of food which can pass through the stomach restricted'.
The website goes on to state that after the operation, 'a 'Ghrelin' hormone - which is released from the fundus of the stomach - is thought to be responsible from overweight and obesity'.
A patient is then said to see weight loss as a result of the reduced volume of the stomach and control in appetite. Risks outlined on the website include bleeding, damage to other organs and anaesthesia-related complications.
Julie said: "He told me the day before. I didn't think anything of it. I told him I couldn't stop him and that he didn't need it - the usual mum stuff. I saw him on the Sunday before he left.
"I joked saying, 'Oh at least you'll be in shape for the summer and Ibiza' and teased him about not being able to eat out as much as he liked. I just never expected anything like this would have happened. I was just in utter, utter shock.
"Both me and my husband are still off work for bereavement. He was a young 25-year-old boy with his whole life ahead of him. He managed to lose a bit of weight when he was younger but he's always been on the bigger side.
"Now I can't stop thinking of all the other young people who want a butt lift or a want something doing to their face. It's just not worth it. I just hope anyone considering this reads our story and doesn't take it lightly."
Medicana Istanbul Bahçelievler has been contacted for comment.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
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