'World's fattest man' Paul Mason granted American visa

Paul Mason and Rebecca Mountain Image copyright Paul Nixon photography
Image caption Rebecca Mountain proposed to Paul Mason during the recording of an American TV programme

A man once dubbed the world's fattest has been granted an American visa so he can have surgery to remove excess skin.

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 hopes the procedures in New York will help shed seven stone (44kg). His visa application had been delayed due to a previous criminal conviction.

Mr Mason still needs to raise about £7,000 towards surgery-related costs.

He was in the US in December for a consultation with Dr Jennifer Capla, who offered to remove his excess skin for free after hearing that the NHS would not perform the operations as quickly as Mr Mason hoped.

However, his plans to make a quick return to the country were delayed when his visa application was referred to Homeland Security in March, because of a conviction for fraud in 1986.

Image copyright Paul Nixon Photography
Image caption Paul Mason released photos of his excess skin to appeal for help

He has now received his visa and had been due to have surgery on 20 October.

But this has been postponed as he needs to raise $12,000 (£7,400) to cover the post-surgery costs, which include accommodation and medicine. He is due to fly out later this week.

Last time he was in the US he appeared on The View TV programme, where he accepted a marriage proposal from his girlfriend, Rebecca Mountain, who lives in Massachusetts.

Image copyright PAul nixon photography
Image caption Paul Mason has launched a fundraising campaign to help pay for the cost of the surgery

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