A woman who raised over £2k via GoFundMe for a gastric sleeve operation was left fighting for her life after botched surgery left her stomach “like concrete”.
Pinky Jolley, 45, travelled to Istanbul, Turkey, for the weight loss procedure in November 2022 after tipping the scales at 17st 11lbs. UK doctors had confirmed the diabetic, who was a dress size 24, should slim down when she piled on the pounds after serious medical complications left her in a wheelchair.
Pinky, who is currently unemployed, quickly raised £2,100 for accommodation, flights and the surgery and after booking the procedure, flew out for it just two months later.
After a two-hour operation to have 85 per cent of her stomach removed, Pinky claims she experienced a myriad of complications, including intense abdominal pain, vomiting, and dehydration.
Just four days afterwards, Pinky returned to her home in Wirral, Merseyside, on December 2022, where her local GP recommended an immediate visit to the hospital. Doctors at Arrow Park Hospital did an emergency CT scan and discovered a serious leak after surgery had led to infection which had turned her internal organs “to concrete”. Three surgeons were then forced to “jet-wash” the inside of her stomach to save her life, on January 29, this year.
Pinky then battled sepsis in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, for more than a month before finally being able to return home on March 26. She has not been able to eat solid food since November – due to fear of further infection within the stomach – instead relying on a feeding tube to sustain her.
Pinky said: “I feel misled and upset that something that was meant to help has caused me so much suffering. I’ve lost four stone in four weeks because my stomach is tiny. I wanted to lose eight stone within two years.
“I’ve had to have a feeding tube to help but everything is so painful. After nearly dying I just wish I never got a gastric sleeve. They totally botched the operation and left my insides so infected they were all hard and like concrete the doctors said.
“It’s been a horrible ordeal I just want to be well again. Looking back it was so cheap that I really should have thought twice but I just got so swept up.”
After four years of trying to find help for her weight issues, the wheelchair user made the decision to fundraise for a gastric sleeve operation, with the support of husband and full-time carer, Paul Jolley, 43.
Pinky explained: “I was excited that I might be finally doing something about my weight that I had waited four years to sort out. I had so much support from people after raising the money. I wanted to get started straight away.”
Pinky, who now weighs just 13st and is a dress size 18, and has been left with a gaping hole in her stomach, said: “I’m lucky to be alive – my body was riddled with infection. I did nine months of research and wished they had performed a leak test. No one should have to go through this pain.
“I’m so thankful for all the help I’ve received when I returned. I’ve lost so much weight, but this isn’t how I wanted it to happen.”