Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting GAZETTE NEWS to 80360, or email
I lost 23-stones but NHS won't remove my saggy skin
6:10am Friday 20th December 2013 in News
A MUM-OF-SEVEN has lost 23 stones, but is now fighting to get her saggy skin removed.
Evridiki Cruikshank, 47, has been refused funding for surgery because it is considered cosmetic rather than clinical.
Ms Cruikshank suffered depression after the death of her husband in 1999 and the stillbirth of her daughter 11 years ago.
Food “became her friend” and she ballooned to 32 stone.
In 2010, she had a £22,000 gastric bypass and within a year and a half lost 23 stones by eating only jelly.
She said: “It’s all I could eat. I had malnutrition and ended up in hospital for weeks.”
Last year, Ms Cruikshank was given a tummy tuck at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, an operation lasting four hours.
However, she has now been refused funding for work to remove saggy skin from her arms and breasts even though she says it is causing her discomfort.
She said: “I have gone through hell to get this far. I’m a size 10 but I can’t show my arms and my breasts touch the floor. It’s like looking at Dot Cotton in the mirror.
“The system isn’t right. I’m suffering and I shouldn’t have to.
“Everyone thinks what I have done is amazing, yet I have to carry on fighting. They won’t fund surgery because they say it has to be done for medical reasons.
My tummy was different because it was hanging and causing a lot of pain.”
Ms Cruikshank, of John English Avenue, Braintree, who now weighs 10 stones, said many overweight people view gastric bypasses as the answer to weight loss.
She said: “You can’t go on a conveyor belt and come out looking like Madonna.”
Lisa Harrod-Rothwell, the chairman of Mid Essex Central Eastern Commissioning Support Unit, said: “I can’t comment on individual cases, but I can say that some procedures are considered of cosmetic value.
Making best use of our resources, on behalf of the 390,000 people we serve, means we can only fund procedures and treatments which meet clinical needs.
“As a local GP, I can appreciate some patients will not agree with the decisions we have to make and we are more than happy to discuss our reasons with them.
“In exceptional cases, where a clinical need can be demonstrated, the clinical commissioning group will consider funding on a case-by-case basis.”
Comments are closed on this article.