Designated “the fattest man in the world” in 2017 by the Guinness of records, the Mexican Juan Pedro Franco, who has since lost nearly 400 kilos, has managed to defeat COVID-19, which he contracted a month ago.
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“It was complicated because it is a very aggressive disease and I was at risk. I had headaches, body aches, fever and I was short of breath, ”this 36-year-old man told AFP from his home in Aguascalientes state (center).
Juan Pedro Franco weighed up to 595 kilos. And although he now weighs 208 kilograms, the ailments associated with his obesity – diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – have worked against him in his battle with the virus.
“Patients who are diabetic, have high blood pressure or have cardiovascular disease are more likely to suffer from serious complications” if they are infected with COVID-19 and “the chances of them going through it are very low ”, explains Dr José Antonio Castañeda, who led the team that treated Mr. Franco’s obesity.
However, her patient got away with it.
Juan Pedro Franco believes that the complex treatments he underwent to lose weight, and his three surgeries, helped him “to cope with the disease” as his diabetes and hypertension are now under control.
Before these weight loss surgeries, Juan Pedro spent most of his time in bed, because his weight prevented him from moving. It was his mother who took care of him, but she died of the coronavirus at the age of 66.
Mexico is the first country in the world to be affected by childhood obesity and the second for adult obesity, behind the United States. This scourge has been an aggravating factor in the fight against COVID-19.
For example, a quarter of the 74,400 deaths recorded in Mexico – the fourth most bereaved country in the world behind India, Brazil and the United States – were from people who were overweight.