'World's fattest man' Paul Mason asks US senator for visa help

Paul Mason with laptop
Image caption Paul Mason and Rebecca Mountain have reverted to an online relationship while he awaits a US visa

A man once known as the world's fattest has pleaded with a US senator to help him get an American visa so he can have weight-loss surgery.

Paul Mason, of Ipswich, used to weigh 70 stone (440kg) but has lost more than 40 stone (254kg) with the help of gastric band surgery.

He is to have excess skin removed in New York but his visa application has been delayed due to a conviction.

Mr Mason, 53, said he hoped senator Elizabeth Warren could help his cause.

Ms Warren, who has declined to comment, is a senator in Massachusetts, where Mr Mason's fiancé Rebecca Mountain lives.

Image copyright Paul Nixon Photography
Image caption Mr Mason said some people might find the images shocking

"I've asked Rebecca's senator if she could help get my visa application granted, on medical grounds," Mr Mason said. "I think they could take notice if she got involved."

Mr Mason built up a relationship with Rebecca Mountain online, after she had seen the coverage of his battle with obesity.

He travelled to the US in December for a consultation with Dr Jennifer Capla, who has offered to perform the operations, and to appear on the television programme The View.

During the recording, Miss Mountain asked him to marry her.

Mr Mason was due to return to the US for surgery, but his visa application was referred to Homeland Security in March because of a conviction for fraud in 1986.

Image copyright Fred Lee/ABC
Image caption Rebecca Mountain (right) proposed to Paul Mason during filming for The View

"It's just a matter of waiting again," Mr Mason said. "But the longer they delay it the more prone I am to infections and permanent damage to my bladder and kidneys. I'm hoping they'll grant the visa quickly."

The excess skin operations could help Mr Mason shed a further seven stone (44kg) from his current weight.

"They will also make me more mobile and allow me to get on with my life," he said.

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