TWO years of pain look set to end within weeks for a Hartlepool man thanks to a Mail-backed campaign.
Kevin McKenzie, 23, could be days away from finding out when he can have the long-awaited operation which will end his agony from constant gall stones.
He has suffered with the problem since 2010, but his 23st 6lbs frame meant doctors refused to operate.
They told him to lose weight before he could be considered for surgery and that’s when he decided to enrol for the Hartlepool Mail-backed Weigh Forward campaign, run in conjunction with Tavistock Leisure and personal trainer Steven Smith.
He has since slimmed down to 21st 6lbs and has already been told he can have the long-awaited operation.
Now Kevin is days away from being told the date for the life-changing surgery at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Kevin said: “I could not have done this without Steven and Weigh Forward. This year will be a new me, hopefully.
“I am having my gall bladder removed and having a gastric bypass.”
Weigh Forward came to an end in October, but Kevin has kept up his training regime.
“I still do the training three times a week and I have stuck at about three stone list,” he said.
But the big problem for Kevin has been the gall stones, which have plagued his life for two years.
He added: “It has been agony all the time and I have been in hospital because of them. Every few months, they would play up and I would have to get more tablets.
“I needed an operation but they told me I was too big. They told me to come back when I had lost weight.”
Kevin, who never used to eat during the day, only had takeaways late at night and fizzy pop.
But he now lives off jacket potatoes, rice and chicken, and said: “I have stopped the fizzy pop and I keep away from the takeaways.”