Tragic story of world's heaviest woman
Luffy Sunday, December 30, 2007 World NewsRenee Williams became the largest person ever to have gastric bypass surgery earlier this year after ballooning to nearly seventy stone – but died 12 days later.
The bedridden 29-year-old begged doctors to perform the operation when she became so large that she couldn't hug her two children.
Her astonishing size meant that the operating table had to be specially widened for the procedure.
Larger than life: Renee Williams weight balloned from 40 to 70 stone after a car crash
The operation was successful and Renee lost four stone due to her reduced stomach capacity before dying of a sudden heart attack less than two weeks later. Her story is told in a Channel 4 programme next week.
Renee, from Austin, Texas, had battled with her weight since childhood and was classified as super-morbidly obese at the age of 12.
She was married by the age of 15 and had her first child, Mirina, at 16 weighing 30 stone.
Renee had grown to a massive 35 stone by the time she had her second daughter Mariah.
"When you don't have that thing in your head that tells you you're full, it's disgusting the amount of food you can eat," She said.
In 2003, she was hit by a drunken driver in an accident that left her unable to walk because her leg was crushed.
She became bedridden and began eating even more.
"She wouldn't stop eating until her stomach started to hurt," says 13-year-old Mirina.
"She would get about eight burgers and eat them all. I kept telling her she was eating her emotions. I think she was sick and tired of being in that bed."
Renee piled on more and more weight and by 2007 she was nearing 70 stone - six times the size of a healthy woman in her age group.
She begged doctors to perform gastric bypass surgery on her and was turned down by 12 who insisted that the operation was too dangerous for a woman of her size.
"I understand the risks but I am not going to make it if I don't have the surgery," Renee said at the time.
"I want to be able to care for my daughters and see them graduate high school."
Gastric bypass surgery makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. Patients feel full sooner, consume fewer calories and lose weight.
Houston's Renaissance hospital finally agreed to perform the surgery after Renee's condition deteriorated and she was given just a year to live by doctors.
The operation on February 20th took five hours as surgeons had to cut through masses of fat to secure the band.
"I feel like I've been run over by a truck," she said afterwards.
Renee began to lose weight immediately but suffered a sudden heart attack on March 4th which took her life.
"I wanted to sit down in a corner and die." Says a distraught Mirina.
"Mom was my best friend and now she has gone it hurts."'