58st and a £500,000 bill: But I deserve NHS support says world's fattest man
By David Wilkes
and Louise Eccles
Last updated at 2:11 AM on 14th February 2012
Lying in his reinforced bed, 58-stone Keith Martin yesterday defended the estimated £50,000 a year he costs the taxpayer – by comparing himself to others who receive help, such as smokers or injured rock climbers.
Believed to be the world’s fattest man, the bed-bound 42-year-old cannot even roll over on his own.
He is visited by seven carers a day, who wash and change him in two shifts, plus two nurses every other day who tend to his bed sores.
Despite the huge drain on public funds, Mr Martin, who has been unable to work for more than a decade, said: ‘It’s either that or I would end up dead. Until people have lived like it, they can’t judge.
Weighty problem: Keith Martin, who eats eight hotdogs for breakfast, is putting extra strain on the NHS
Some people need help. Smokers get help, rock climbers get help if they get injured. Some people have bigger problems than others.
‘I am trying to get my weight down. Hopefully it won’t be too long.’
Mr Martin, who has outgrown his size 8XL clothes, is hoping to have a gastric band fitted but has been told he must lose half his weight before that can be done.
Speaking in his ground floor bedroom in his council house in North London, he said: ‘I blame myself, I don’t blame anyone else. It was my fault, I am the one who ate the food. No one held a gun to my head and made me. I hate what I have done to myself.’
Record breaker: Mr Martin, pictured, has taken the crown of heaviest man on the planet from a 90-stone Mexican who went on a diet and slimmed down to 31st 6lb
Incapacitated: Eight ambulance workers are needed to lift him into a reinforced vehicle for regular hospital visits
He was a normal weight and used to enjoy cycling until his mother, Alma, died when he was 16. Then he began binge eating and drinking, and started to balloon from 12 stone to his current life-threatening proportions.
‘I let myself go,’ he said. ‘It wasn’t comfort eating, I just didn’t care. I got so bloated on sausages, bacon and roast dinners. I just ate whatever I felt like.’
His parents had separated when he was small. One of eight children growing up in Hendon, he rarely saw his father, Henry, a hospital porter, who passed away within a couple of years of his mother.
The teenage Keith left school soon after his mother’s death with a few CSEs and worked as a warehouseman and labourer until his weight, and the resultant lack of mobility and breathlessness, made it impossible.
Heavy: Mr Martin says his life of excess was triggered by the death of his mother when he was a teenager
Larger than life: Specialist ambulance crews are called to care for Mr Martin, who is too big to look after himself
Trimmed down: Manuel Uribe's weight has dropped from 90st to 31st after going on a diet
Taunts of ‘Dumbo’ about his size from passersby in his younger days failed to curb his appetite, and by 2001 his weight resulted in him being taken to hospital for the first time after he returned home and ‘felt completely knackered’.
‘Since then the only times I’ve left home have been in the back of a van to move to this house when we were rehoused or in an ambulance to go to hospital,’ said Mr Martin, who is 5ft 9in but has a 6ft waist.
He has been back in hospital several times since, and has also been diagnosed with depression and had heart problems.
A specialist team which uses £90,000 adapted ambulances designed to transport plus-size people is needed to move him. Up to eight ambulance officers manoeuvre him from his bed to the ambulance by stretcher or a special bag which can be used to drag him along the floor.
HIS TYPICAL DAILY MENU
- Breakfast: Keith Martin typically starts the day with eight hot dogs and four slices of bread, or a pile of ham sandwiches followed by coffee with sugar.
- Lunch: A selection of chocolate bars, cakes, a packet of biscuits plus more coffees with sugar.
- Dinner: Two whole roast dinners with all the trimmings, or 16 sausages plus a family-sized bag of oven chips washed down with coffee.
They last went to his aid in the autumn after he fell at home. Since then, Mr Martin has remained in bed and, in between visits from his carers, spends his days watching his 42in plasma television, playing on his games console or reading.
A bookcase in his bedroom is crammed with box sets of his favourite sci-fi series, including Merlin, Stargate and Red Dwarf. On top of it sit model pigs, which he used to collect.
Yesterday Mr Martin fought back tears as he told of his life-or-death battle to lose weight. ‘I’ve been told to lose weight or I won’t see 50,’ he said. ‘I’ve cut down a massive amount on what I used to eat. I’m trying to keep my calorie intake to 2,500 a day [the recommended average for men] – it was at 9,000 calories a day.’
Mr Martin, who is advised by an NHS nutritionist once a month, said: ‘I have four rounds of toast for breakfast, soup for lunch, or sometimes skip it, and something like plain chicken and rice for dinner.
‘I’ve given up having two sugars in coffee and have one low calorie sweetener instead. Sometimes I’ll have a couple of plain digestive biscuits. I can’t stand them, but give me a chocolate digestive and I’ll eat the packet.’
He used to order huge amounts of junk food to his house through online shopping, but now eats only what is cooked for him by his two sisters, who live with him.
Mr Martin is believed to have taken the fattest man title from a 90-stone Mexican called Manuel Uribe, who has gone on a diet and is now 31st 6lb.
But Mr Martin said: ‘I won’t be contacting Guinness World Records about it. It’s not something to be proud of.’
■ Big Body Squad begins on Wednesday, February 22, at 8pm on Channel 5.
Read more: World's 'fattest man' Keith Martin who lives in London is 58-stone | Mail Online