Worthing woman’s saggy skin drama

EVERY time Caroline Marshall looks in the mirror she gets a very visual reminder of the person she used to be.

Saggy, excess skin hangs from the 28-year-old’s petite frame – a leftover from when Caroline used to be heavily overweight at 25 stone.

Having spent two years working hard in the gym and eating better, Caroline now weighs just 11 and a half stone, but she still feels depressed about her body.

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She is desperate to have an operation to have all the saggy skin removed from her arms, stomach, thighs and chin, but NHS West Sussex have refused to fund the procedure.

Caroline, who lives in Belsize Road, Worthing, said: “This really upsets me. It makes me depressed and I just feel like I want to cut it off myself or else hide away.

“When I walk down the street, or go swimming, I know people are looking at me and it’s not very nice.

“I want to feel confident, but with this skin it’s like living in the past as every time I look in the mirror I still see myself as a bigger person.

“I feel like I can’t move on until this skin is gone.”

Caroline suffers from mild brain damage, so can struggle to understand why, despite all her hard work, she still hasn’t got a body she feels confident about.

Her sister, and carer, Julie Bilotti, said: “She never thought she could reach this weight and it has been a kick to see her do so well.

“But I would feel the same way as her if I was in that position.”

Caroline was inspired to lose weight two years ago, after she watched a programme by diet expert Gillian McKeith on television.

She joined a gym, started eating less, and the weight started to come off. At one point, she went to the gym seven days a week, but now goes two or three times to the David Lloyd Centre in Durrington.

Julie, 30, who lives in Littlehampton, added: “We know of other people who have received this surgery on the NHS. Some of them have even had it after having a gastric band fitted.

“It just doesn’t seem fair as she has saved the NHS money by losing the weight all by herself and not having a gastric band, only to be told no. She’s very distressed about all this.”