Andrew and Sharon Hill were dubbed Britain’s fattest couple – weighing a massive 85 stone between them.
Trapped in their own home and barely able to walk, they made the brave decision to undergo dramatic weight loss surgery with one specific goal in mind – to have a family.
The couple were super morbidly obese and at risk of serious health problems or even death.
Sharon was the first to go under the knife back in 2014 when she underwent bariatric surgery.
Weighing 48 stone at her heaviest, she was the UK’s fattest woman.
But since her operation, Sharon has shed a whopping 18 stone and regained her social life.
However, her recovery had a devastating impact on former sales and marketing manager, Andrew.
Andrew and Sharon weighed 85 stone between them
(Image: Channel 4)
Andrew and Sharon on their wedding day, when they weighed more than 60 stone between them
(Image: Barcroft Media)
- ‘Britain’s fattest husband and wife’ lose 28 STONE so they can have baby
He felt unable to join his wife in her new found healthy eating and steadily continued to pile on the pounds.
At 37 stone he was no longer able to work, his self confidence was shattered and he was unable to leave their Cotswolds home.
Channel 4’s Shut Ins: Britain’s Fattest People followed his daily life as he took the difficult, and potentially fatal, decision to also have bariatic surgery.
Andrew explained his confidence was utterly shattered, saying: "My self worth is non-existent."
His weight problems started when he was a teenager but had been getting worse as his wife’s frame shrank.
Sharon and Andrew sit down for dinner together before he had his surgery
The 49-year-old confessed his big weakness was carbs, with bread and pasta his favourites.
But Andrew also couldn’t resist takeaways and spent his evenings in front of his computer, eating treats like ice-cream.
Sharon explained: "He loves feeling full. He doesn’t eat until he’s hungry and then he goes hell for leather."
Eating more than 6,000 calories a day – double what he needed – Andrew was unable to help Sharon with the running of the home.
And the couple’s marriage was starting to crumble under their combined weight, with Sharon admitting they hadn’t been intimate in months.
She said: "My libido has always been higher than Andrew’s but for the last four months his has been non-existent.
The couple were desperate to shed the pounds so they can have a baby
"He hasn’t been the man I married for a long time. I need him to support me because I can’t take a step back in my own journey."
On top of the issues in his marriage, Andrew suffered from a raft of health problems, all exacerbated by his weight.
High blood pressure, cellulitis, a skin infection that can lead to septicemia if untreated, and other medical issues meant he had to take 13 tablets daily.
Andrew also suffers from sleep apnea. This causes his throat to relax when he’s asleep and can interupt normal breathing, which can be fatal.
He has to use a machine every night to prevent this happening..
Sharon and Andrew had one more, very special reason, for wanting to shed the pounds – a baby of their own.
Sharon said: "I’m the woman who can’t seem to get pregnant.
"Could I give up chocolate and cake if I had a small bundle of love for the rest of my life?
This is the difference between Andrew’s meals and Sharon’s tiny portions
"Yes! But the disappointment every month and the years of never having a stripe on a test makes me comfort eat.
“Does that make me weak? Probably. But yes I would give anything to be a mother, to be called mum.”
Since Sharon, 37, began her incredible weight loss journey four years ago she has been heartbroken at Andrew’s lack of support.
Instead of joining her and also eating smaller portions – her surgery means she is unable to eat more than a few mouthfuls without being sick – he stuck to his giant carb-heavy meals.
Feeling unable to leave the home he shares with his wife, Andrew spent his days on his computer – something that infuriated Sharon, who did ALL the house work.
But lonely and with his self-esteem at an all time low, Andrew decided to take the drastic step and apply for bariatric surgery.
Sharon backed his decision, saying: "I want us to spend the rest of our lives together rather than me doing one thing and Andrew slowly dying."
Andrew and Sharon Hill are now shedding the pounds together
The surgeon who carried out Sharon’s operation, Professor David Kerrigan, was once again drafted in to help.
Andrew’s many health issues meant he was an extremely risky candidate for the surgery and he had to prove he had the willpower needed to maintain a very strict diet if he deemed eligible for the operation.
First, he had to stick to a rigid diet of 100g of proten every day and just 800 calories, something he struggled with.
While the couple are waiting to learn if Andrew is a suitable candidiate for the surgery, Sharon had a fertility check up.
Thankfully, she was still biologically able to become a mother but has to shed a lot more weight before treatment to help her conceive is an option.
The couple’s dream of becoming parents now very much rests on Andrew’s surgery and Sharon’s determination to lose more weight.
Andrew and Sharon were nce dubbed Britain’s fattest couple
The day of the operation dawns and it’s good news for Andrew – surgeons are confident they can operate successfully and safely.
Half of his small intestine is removed so he will absorb fewer calories and a huge chunk of his stomach is removed so he can only eat tiny portions for the rest of his life.
Recovery was initially hard for both Andrew and Sharon.
She said: "He is more focused on himself than us as a couple but he needs to realise that this is a journey we have to take together."
But then a corner was turned.
Andrew hit the gym and he and Sharon embarked on a whole host of hobbies together, including pottery and swimming.
Andrew began helping out around the house, even cooking meals (smaller ones) for both himself and Sharon.
And his libido is back.
Andrew has now shed a massive 10 stone, dropping to 27 stone.
He has lost 30cm from his waist and 25cm from his chest.
And now the couple are excited about their future together – and a possible new addition to their family.
Andrew said: "I don’t feel shut in any more – I feel liberated."
- Shut Ins: Britain’s Fattest People is on Channel 4 tonight at 10pm