556-Pound Man Needs Two Dangerous Surgeries for Weight, 70-Lb. Tumor
Scot Jacobson has named his tumor Wilson after the ball from the movie Castaway. Though Mr. Jacobson is naturally upbeat, he says that sometimes it takes a great deal of effort to maintain his positive attitude. At 50 years old, Jacobson is 556 pounds. On top of that, he has a 70-pound tumor on his abdomen.
Jacobson says that he has always had trouble with his weight. The problem does not lie in his eating habits. When he and his wife start a diet together, she will shed pounds and he will gain them - even when restricting their intake to a mere 1,200 calories a day. He says that he has tried every diet under the sun.
To make matters worse, the Huffington Post reports that, last year, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, obesity elevates the risk of thyroid cancer. Doctors removed the thyroid. A few months later, the tumor appeared, though Jacobson notes that, even when the benign tumor, he is still cancer-free.
The Associated Press reports that the father of three will undergo two surgeries that will hopefully save his life. The first will consist of gastric bypass surgery, in which doctors shrink his milk jug-sized stomach to the size of a sleeve, in the hopes that he will lose weight. Four months later, doctors will hopefully remove the tumor.
More immediately, though, the issue with the procedure is with the funds. Insurance will not cover the gastric bypass surgery, which amounts to $18,000. Mr. Jacobson emptied his funds to finance the first surgery so, despite the fact that both he and his wife work, they only have $8,000. Friends have opened bank accounts and fundraisers in his honor.
It is not Jacobson's first time attempting gastric bypass surgery. In 2007, he attempted to have the surgery. When he woke up from the anesthesia, he was informed that doctors had not gone through the operation out of fear that he would bleed to death.
Hospitals have increasingly needed to accommodate for obese patients, building supportive wheelchairs and mounting toilets to the floor instead of the wall. Surgery poses additional problems; USA Today reports that, on the operating table, the abdomen puts pressure on the lungs.
For Mr. Jacobson, the situation is clear. If he has the surgeries, he may die. But if he does not, he certainly will.