A couple in India took out a loan to pay for gastric surgery and lose a staggering 16 stone between them before they finally had their dreams come true and have a baby boy.
Anjani Singla, 28, used to weigh 20st and it led to several complications including high diabetes.
Her husband Deepak Singla, 28, a businessman, weighed a staggering 24st and together the couple were terrified of starting a family.
She said: ‘I was tired of my problems. I was married for two years and desperately wanted to start a family. I tried playing sports and dieting but nothing really helped. People told me that getting pregnant in my state would have severe consequences on a baby and so I was petrified. I was scared that my child would suffer due to our condition. We were desperate for help.’
Anjani and Deepak, from Bhiwani, in Haryana, northern India, who began to gain weight quickly after marrying in May 2014, were aware that gastric surgeries existed but had always thought it was done for cosmetic reasons and were too expensive.
Anjani explained: ‘I was lonely and devastated that I was not able to produce a healthy child. I’m also terrified of needles, let alone major surgery. I’d never go under the knife for cosmetic reasons or to look good but it was about producing a healthy child. I was ready to take any pain to become a mother. I convinced myself and then my husband supported me and agreed to get it done too. We encouraged each other and it helped our confidence so we both got it done.’
But the couple needed to take a loan of Rs800,000 (£9,320GBP) to afford the fee for surgery which was a total Rs1,000,000 (£11,650GBP) at Apollo Hospital, Delhi.
I’d never go under the knife for cosmetic reasons or to look good but it was about producing a healthy child
The couple met with Dr Imtiaz Ahmed Gauria and on February 18, 2016, the couple went ahead with surgery on the same day.
‘We were both very nervous before hand,’ Anjani said. ‘We were lying in bed feeling very anxious but when we said our goodbyes and headed for surgery we were also excited about what was to come also.’
Their surgery was a bariatric operation involving a small stomach pouch re-routed into the small intestine.
Anjani and Deepak lost about 7 to 8st each in the first nine months and one day Anjani took a pregnancy test and it confirmed her dreams. They had finally successfully conceived and on June 21 this year, she gave birth to her baby boy Aditya.
‘It was the happiest day of my life,’ she said. ‘It was like a dream come true. I could not have asked for anything else from god; my son has come as the biggest blessing. He is absolutely normal and healthy and I feel proud to hold him in my arms.’
The couple believe their health has improved generally after surgery.
‘Not only has the diabetes gone, I no longer suffer back pains,’ she said. ‘Deepak could not walk properly earlier. And he’d suffer from migraine, hypertension, physical and mental stress, weakness etc but now he feels extremely healthy. He can even jog and run for kilometers at a stretch. It’s unbelievable.’
Now, Anjani weighs 11st 8lbs and Deepak 16st 5lbs. They’re even hoping for more children.
Anjani and Deepak’s story was an inspiration for the rest of their family too. Deepak’s mother, Sangeeta Singla, 49, was also obese and weighed 19st but after she saw the success of the surgery on her son and daughter-in-law she too underwent surgery in September 2016.
Anjani explained: ‘My mother in law suffered from major issues like arthritis, varicose veins, hypertension, stress etc. She was initially hesitant about surgery and feared post surgery complications but now she’s lost 6st. She is absolutely incredible and very happy with her decision.’
Dr Imtiaz Ahmed Gauria, from the bariatric department, at Apollo Hospital, Delhi, said: ‘They came to us completely infertile. Anjani had diabetes, pigmentation, joint pain, back ache, irregular periods, problems in sleeping and of course obesity. Deepak was obese and had problems like breathlessness due to physical inactivity, low self esteem, depression and low sperm count.
‘During surgery it took us about an hour on each to remove 80pc of their fat from their body. We were happy that Anjani’s diabetes was also cured due to the surgery. None of them require any further surgery and now they just need to maintain proper diet and lifestyle.’