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At the start of December 2015, a hopeful Andres Moreno, once known as the world’s fattest man, believed his life was finally about to change for the better.
The Mexican, who at his heaviest weighed a bonkers 70st, had just underwent a stomach bypass to shed some of the baggage.
Speaking at the time, the relieved 38-year-old, from Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, said: “My legs were trembling like a new-born foal’s but thankfully I can stand up by myself and walk by myself.”
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Cristiano Ronaldo had even sent him a signed Real Madrid shirt as a show of support – but on December 25 he was pronounced dead after guzzling six energy drinks a day before he took his final breath.
Here, seven years on, we take a look back at his extraordinary life.
Moreno stood out from the moment he was born, when he exited the womb a whopping 13 pounds.
And as a young boy, just 10 to be precise, he was walking around at 18 and a half stone.
Extraordinarly, that is more than what UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou usually weighs and slightly more than what boxer Tyson Fury weighed in for his recent clash with Derek Chisora.
Mexico has long struggled with the weight of its population with 73% of people there being classed as overweight. It also has one of the highest obesities rates in the world.
But unwilling to be burdened by his size, Moreno grew up to become a police officer.
He even married young but after turning 20 health issues began to cause tension in his personal life.
Energy drink addict and diabetic Moreno remembered: “I lost my wife, who I lived with for three years and left me because I was fat.
“I realised I was putting on more and more weight and getting bigger but it was like a snowball I couldn’t stop. Friends and family would visit me and when they went I was left alone crying and sad because of my situation and begging God to put me back on the right path.
“I hit rock bottom when I couldn’t get out of bed and go to the toilet or wash myself.”
Moreno piled on even more extra pounds and at his biggest he was a staggering 70st – and after his career ended and his lover ditched him, he became bedbound.
But in 2015, worried his size would kill him, he vowed to transform his fortunes and he told the world he would undergo a stomach bypass to help him shift the bulge.
And before he went under the knife, the football fan was stunned when then Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo sent him a signed shirt.
He said: “I want to thank everyone, especially Ronaldo, for taking interest in my case. Sometimes you that that people live in another world way from the people, but that is not the case.
“I feel as if I had gotten a Christmas gift before Christmas.”
He still weighed more than 700lbs pre-surgery but he had lost 266lbs naturally before the procedure. Seven staff members hoisted him on a reinforced stretcher to take him to his appointment.
His ambition was to get rid of 800lbs before finding a wife so he could start a family. He also wanted to launch an organisation to help other obese people.
He said: “I want to show them that no matter how large they are, there is hope.”
And medics at the Mexico Gastric Bypass unit in the Arboledas Hospital successfully removed around 70 per cent of his stomach in a final bid to save his life.
In the days afterwards he managed to walk for the first time in years and he was also capable of washing himself.
Experts claimed that without the surgery Moreno would have been dead within five years.
But tragically he died shortly after the op on Christmas Day, 2015. He passed away in an ambulance after suffering a heart attack.
Breaking the news to the media at the time, his publicist Carmen Palacios said: “Andres died at 8.30am on Christmas Day in an ambulance from a heart attack as he was taken from his house to San Jose Hospital. We are dismayed by the news.”
But more details emerged in the new year when his doctor, Jorge Ojeda, announced: “He drank more than sex energy drinks a day according to his family and we believe it could be a lot more than six.
“As an obese man, although he was losing weight and was starting to move, exposing yourself to a stimulant can cause an irregular heartbeat, and that or a heart attack can lead to death.”
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- Tyson Fury
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