World’s heaviest man defeats COVID-19 in Mexico

Juan Pedro Franco was won the Guinness World Record for Heaviest Man in 2017

World’s heaviest man defeats COVID-19 in Mexico
Juan Pedro Franco is a 33-year-old Mexican - Photo: File photo/AFP
English 01/10/2020 13:09 AFP Mexico City Actualizada 13:12
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Juan Pedro Franco went from facing one enemy to another. In 2017, this Mexican won the Guinness World Record for Heaviest Man, and although he has considerably lost weight since then, he has had to battle the new coronavirus.

Franco, who is 36 years old, once weighted 595 kg. And although he is now 208 kg, the problems that came with obesity – diabetes, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – worked against him in the fight against COVID-19 to which he tested positive a month ago.

“It’s complicated because it is a very aggressive disease. I had headaches, body aches, I lost my breath, I had a fever. I was at a very high risk,” said Franco to AFP from his home in the Mexican central state of Aguascalientes.

Mexico is the first place in the world in childhood obesity and the second one in adults, which has been an obstacle in the fight against COVID-19.

One of every four mortal victims (74,400 to date) was overweight, just as the fifth part of the more than 700,000 confirmed cases.

Moreover, many of those who contracted the disease had at least one comorbidity, such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, usually linked to poor nutrition and lack of physical activity.

“Patients that have diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases are more susceptible to suffer serious complications” due to the virus, said doctor José Antonio Castañeda, who leads the team that treated Juan Pedro’s obesity.

“There are few chances of them getting better,” he added. Nevertheless, the patient was the exception.

Franco considers that the complex treatment he underwent to lose weight – which included three surgeries – helped him defeat coronavirus for his diabetes and hypertension are currently under control.

Before those bariatric surgeries, Franco spent most of his time lying in his bed because the weight prevented him from moving.

“They were really useful to control my weight, diabetes, and hypertension; it was what helped me not to get worse,” he said. “He (Castañeda) has me now without drugs for glucose and hypertension. That really helped me endure the disease,” he asserted.

However, COVID-19 killed her 66-year-old mother, who was in charge of his diet, so now Franco and one of his brothers are taking care of it.

“Sadly, she is no longer with us and now we have to get used to it for we also have to start doing it (the diet) by ourselves,” he said.


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