Many countries were forced to go on lockdown in a bid to curb the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The lockdown left many with ample time on their hands and for 26-year-old Zhou, it may have been too much time.
The Chinese man who was recently labeled Wuhan’s fattest person gained a whopping 100 kilograms during the city’s five-month lockdown.
Zhou lost check of his weight when his relatively normal lifestyle of working at a local cafe became affected by the lockdown.
He started spending most of his time indoors and unable to burn off any calories, he started gaining weight. In a few months’ time, he had ballooned to 616 pounds (280 kilograms), over 200 pounds more than he weighed before the Covid-19 epidemic.
He was admitted at the Wuhan University Central South Hospital on June 1st after his weight had made it impossible for him to sleep comfortably anymore.
“Doctor, I haven’t closed my eyes for 48 hours. It’s so uncomfortable. Can you help me?” Zhou allegedly asked Dr Li Zhen, the deputy director of the Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Center of the Central South Hospital of Wuhan University. By that point, he had already contacted other doctors, who had refused to assist him because of his extreme weight.
A team of paramedics struggled to get Zhou out of his home and into an ambulance and he was admitted to the ICU.
Tests were carried out and initial test results revealed various symptoms, such as heart failure and respiratory dysfunction.
His size made it hard for doctors to conduct other needed tests, like blood pressure and EEG. For 10 days, doctors tried to stabilize him, and on June 11 he was declared stable and out of immediate danger.
Dr. Li Zhen said that the patient’s obesity was caused by genetic factors and endocrine abnormalities exacerbated by his inactivity and increased calorie intake during Wuhan’s five-month lockdown. He and his team are hopeful that Zhou will be able to lose at least 50 pounds so he can safely undergo a gastric bypass or stomach reduction surgery to help him shed most of the excess weight.
“I can only hope that by adjusting diet and rest and other methods, it (body weight) can reduce more than 50 pounds in three months so that the risk of surgery will be greatly reduced,” the doctor said.