Weight loss patient starts new support group

Obesity surgery experience uncovers need for local advice network.

A BIDEFORD woman who has lost six stones following gastric bypass surgery has started a support group for others who have had, or are thinking about having, weight loss surgery.

Margaret Bull, 64, weighed 17 stones when she had an NHS operation in November following years of unsuccessful dieting.

The retired psychiatric nurse now weighs 11 stones and has dropped dress sizes from a 24 to a 12.

She also said that since the procedure, she no longer walks with a stick or takes medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, and that the savings would offset the money the NHS spent on the operation.


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“It’s worked for me in more ways than one,” she said.

“I’d spent years and years trying to get the weight off without success before I decided to ask my doctor about weight loss surgery.

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“I’ve had to jump through hoops along the way and had to convince my GP that I needed the operation before he would refer me for my first appointment in 2010.”

Mrs Bull said that she had decided to start up a North Devon branch of the British Obesity Surgery Patient Association (BOSPA) with a friend who had also undergone surgery.

“It’s good to be able to talk to other people who are going through what you are going through but the nearest support group was in Taunton.

“We don’t know how many people in our area have had weight loss surgery but we think it’s quite a lot and already have interest from people in South Molton, Bradworthy, Hartland and Bideford.”

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The group’s first meeting will be held in the training room at Asda, Bideford, Tuesday, March 20, 7-9pm; following that they will meet on the third Tuesday of every month. For more information, telephone Margaret on (01237) 424223 or email enquiries@BOSPA.org

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