Jobless junk food fan who had 8,000 gastric sleeve on NHS now wants taxpayer to fund 15,000 for gastric bypassLaura Ripley, 28, sparked fury by claiming she could not afford to eat healthy food on 600 per month benefitsShe continues to eat crisps and chocolate every day after undergoing a gastric sleeve operation three years agoNow she will undergo a further 27,000 of work to bring her weight down.
When a 38-stone unemployed woman was given an 8,000 gastric sleeve operation on the NHS, she knew she had been given the golden chance to turn her life around.
But now Laura Ripley is now set to undergo a further 15,000 gastric bypass to help her lose weight and 12,000 worth cosmetic surgery.
The 28-year-old complained that after slimming down to 20 stone because she had a gastric sleeve fitted, she lost her disability benefits because she was no longer fat enough to claim.
Left with “just” 600 in handouts to live on each month, she moaned that she was unable to afford healthy food.
Now, three years after she was first operated on, the junk food fan from Hastings, East Sussex, continues to eat chocolate and crisps every day.
She is booked in for surgery so she can have a 15,000 taxpayer-funded gastric bypass.
Andthen she expects to receive a further 12,000 worth of cosmetic work toimprove the look of her body. She will undergo arm and thigh lifts and atummy tuck.
Junk food fan: Laura continues to eat crisps and chocolate bars every day but says she will stop if she undergoes a new gastric band operation
Weight loss: Laura Ripley is now set to undergo a further 27,000 worth of surgery to help her lose weight
This will bring the final cost of her medical treatment to 35,000.
This time she hopes her weight problem will finally be brought under control.
Laura claims all the surgery is vital as she does not have the willpower to slim down by herself.
She told Closer magazine: “Some people might say I don’t deserve the second operation, but I do. It’s not my fault. I crave chocolate like every other woman.
“I always allow myself a few treats a day – usually two packets of Quavers and a chocolate bar at night.”
Laura believes that, since the sleeve was fitted, her stomach has gradually stretched and this has meant she has been eating more.
She says she lost weight in advance of the sleeve op, but does not have the strength of mind to do it again.
“I sometimes feel guilty about all the money that has been spent on me,” she said. “But, after the bypass, I could be 16st by Christmas. Then I won’t eat crisps or chocolate.”
After she had the original operation,Laura complained that because she had lost so much weight she no longerqualified for 340 per month in disability benefits – so couldn”t afford to eat healthily.
At the time she said: “I can”t affordto buy WeightWatchers crisps and cereal bars any more so I eat Tesco”s chocolate bars and packets of Space Invaders crisps, sometimes four of each a day.
“People ask why I don”t snack on an apple – they”re cheap, but emotionally I don”t always feel like an apple.”
Laura”s decision to have further medical treatment has enraged Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum.
He said: “Laura would have been told what to eat after her gastric sleeve, but she has ignored advice and gone back to her old ways.
“The NHS came to her aid when it was necessary. But now she is scrounging off the system and could be denying surgery to someone with a life-threatening illness like cancer.”
Laura, who is a vegetarian, claims hertypical daily diet would be Rice Krispies for breakfast, jacket potato with beans for lunch and spaghetti with Quorn Bolognese for dinner.
But she admits that, once a week, she has two slices of toast for breakfast and treats herself to a salad wrap.
Laura says she feels guilty about living off the state.
Sheadded: “Once I have lost the weight, I want to train to be a hairdresser. I don’t want to live off the state. I plan to get married and show off my new figure in a wedding gown.”
Obese: Laura Ripley, now 28, who weighed 38-stone before she underwent an 8,000 gastric sleeve operation on the NHS.