A builder who wanted to lose weight died after undergoing cut-price gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey.
Joe Thornley, 25, spent £3,000 on the operation in hope of slimming down. It costs £8,000 to £10,000 in the UK.
He messaged his parents after the two-hour procedure saying he was in pain. It proved to be his final communication with them.
His parents were later informed he had died.
Devastated mum Julie is now warning others to think twice before heading abroad for similar surgery.
She said: “It’s just not worth it. I don’t want another family to go through what we’ve been through.”
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Joe had weighed 22st and wanted the surgery to lose weight and restrict his food intake.
He booked his appointment at Medicana Bahcelievler in Istanbul just weeks ahead of the procedure, and told his family at the last minute.
Julie said: “He told me the day before. I told him I couldn’t stop him but that he didn’t need it.
“It was meant to be go in on the Monday and be back at home on the Friday.”
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When Joe texted his mum to say he was “in a lot of pain”, she told him to ask for painkillers. Julie and husband Michael, 57, did not hear from him for the next two days and assumed he was recovering. But police turned up at Julie’s work to break the awful news.
The death certificate in Turkey ruled Joe died from “natural causes”, but a postmortem in Britain blamed internal bleeding after the surgery.
Mum-of-two Julie, who lived with her son in South Normanton, Derbys, said: “He was a 25-year-old with his whole life ahead of him.
“Now I can’t stop thinking of all the other young people who want a butt lift or want something doing to their face. I hope anyone considering this reads our story and doesn’t take it lightly.”
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According to the NHS, a sleeve gastrectomy involves removing around 80% of the stomach, leaving a thin tube, to restrict food intake.
It also takes out some stomach cells that produce a hormone which controls appetite, so people often do not feel as hungry afterwards.
A patient is expected to experience significant weight loss as a result.
Risks outlined on Medicana Bahcelievler’s website include bleeding, damage to other organs and anesthesia complications. The hospital has been contacted for comment.
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