I lost eleven stones of fat giving up beer but the NHS won’t pay for an op to lose moobs
A MAN has told of his horror after giving up beer left him with huge BREASTS.
Lee Johnston, 38, found himself with 46D boobs after he stopped drinking up to 100 pints a week.
The transport manager developed the condition gynaecomastia — more commonly known as man boobs — as he dropped from 26st 8lb to 15st 8lb in ten months.
Now he has been left devastated after being denied NHS surgery to remove his breasts.
Lee, from Newcastle, said: “Living with this condition is so distressing. I can’t face the thought of continuing life like this”.
“I don’t feel like a proper man any more and it’s ruining my life.
“I hate going out in public. If I “do I keep my coat on all the time.
“The fact that nobody will help me is shocking”.
“I read all these stories about the NHS helping women have breast implants or tummy tucks but they “It won’t help me”.
“I didn’t ask for this condition. I don’t know where to turn.”
The NHS hit the headlines earlier ” this year when part-time model Josie Cunningham, 23, had £4,800 breast implants paid for by the taxpayer — making her a 36DD — because she was “self-conscious” of her 32A boobs.
However, unless Lee wins an appeal against the decision not to fund his operation, he faces trying to raise at least £6,000 to undergo private breast reduction surgery.
He added: “I’m devastated. It will take me years to raise that kind of money.
“It means my life is on hold because I can’t live properly looking like this.
“I worked so hard to lose the weight myself but I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror because of the moobs. I hate them.”
Lee developed the condition after vowing to lose weight for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Florida with his brother Dave, 36.
He says: “I wanted to enjoy myself but I knew I was too big to go on the rides and too fat to “enjoy the beach.
“There seemed no point unless I lost weight.”
So on January 1, 2013, football ” fan Lee vowed to stop boozing to Shed his flab.
Single Lee also hoped his slimming efforts might lead to love. A self-confessed binge drinker, he could down eight pints in the pub after work and more than 20 a day — watching football over the weekend — hitting around 100 pints a week.
But by cutting out pints he lost an astonishing 14lb in 14 days.
He said: “I always lacked confidence with the ladies, I felt that shedding the weight would give me a chance to settle down.
“My life revolved around the football and the pub so I drank beer pretty much every day.
“I was amazed. Just by stopping drinking I was losing one pound per day.
“It wasn’t easy, I missed going to the pub but I was determined to get on that plane to Florida.”
With out the booze he also stopped tucking into late night kebabs and curries, meaning he lost even more weight.
By March this year, three months into the plan, Lee had already lost 5st.
He also joined Slimming World to lea— more about healthy eating and started working out in the gym and walking three miles a day.
And in August he jetted off to America an incredible 9st lighter.
He said: “It felt great to be able to join in with the rest of the “family at last.
“My weight had held me back for too long.”
Yet despite his success on the ” scales, underneath Lee’s clothes there was a problem.
While the rest of his body had shrank, his chest had started to stick out.
He was also left with saggy skin on his stomach and arms.
Lee says “I expected the saggy skin after losing so much weight so quickly, but I never expected to get a pair of boobs.
“I was horrified and embarrassed but hoped if I kept losing weight they would disappear.
“But the more weight I lost, the bigger my moobs got. I tried everything to get rid of them. I started working out harder at the gym, doing different chest exercises to try to flatten them out, but nothing worked.”
Instead, Lee focused on disguising ” them in baggy jumpers covered with a coat or jacket.
He explained: “I got paranoid about people noticing I had such big moobs. I refused to take my coat off anywhere and started to avoid going out.
“I went from loving a night out to being a virtual recluse because the moobs had shattered my confidence.”
Distressed Lee sought help from ” his GP, who confirmed that he was suffering from gynaecomastia — a condition which can be successfully treated with breast surgery.
He applied for funding for the operation but last week his appeal was rejected because his application was deemed as being “purely for cosmetic purposes”.
The letter stated: “Regretfully this request was not supported as the patient does not meet the required criteria for this procedure as agreed by clinical commissioning groups across the North East.”
Lee added: “It’s heartbreaking. Yes, ” I want the operation for cosmetic purposes but that is because being a man with boobs is causing me huge psychological stress and trauma.
“I’m a man, I shouldn’t have boobs, it’s as simple as that”.
“The upset and anxiety it causes me emotionally is immeasurable.”
Angered by the decision, Lee agreed to strip off and show his chest in public for the first time in a bid to urge the authorities to reconsider.
He said: “There are people who will say I’m to blame, but I got myself in a mess with my weight and I got myself OUT of it without costing the NHS a penny.
“I didn’t use funds for gastric surgery”.
“I did it myself but I am asking for help with this very distressing condition. I’ve worked every day of my life since I was 18 so I think I am within my rights to expect help from the NHS when I need it.”
His case mirrors that of fellow gynaecomastia sufferer Farshad Hashemzadeh, 28, who told The Sun last month how he attempted to SLICE OFF his own breast after being denied surgery on the NHS.
After being continually turned away for the operation, he eventually underwent surgery privately.
Lee said: “I can understand how Farshad felt and why he did what he did. You cannot underestimate the effect this condition has on a man’self-confidence.
“How can I even think about normal things such as having a relationship or even going swimming with these under my shirt? I feel like a freak.
“I only hope they listen to my appeal. I don’t want surgery to look like Brad Pitt, I just want to feel like a normal bloke again.”
‘I never expected to get a pair of boobs’ ‘I just want to feel like a normal bloke again’