A COUPLE are celebrating their new lifestyle together after losing almost 23 stone in weight between them.

Keith and Tracey Perry, from Canvey, enjoyed the significant weight loss after having gastric sleeves fitted which reduce the size of the stomach by up to 75 per cent.

Now 51-year-old butcher Keith and his 48-year-old wife Tracey have also joined a gym to keep fit.

Keith reached 27st and began to suffer from pain in his knees and feet, his blood pressure was on the rise and he was a borderline diabetic.

He met with Kesava Mannur, a bariatric surgeon at Spire Wellesley Hospital in Southend, and decided that a gastric sleeve was his best course of action.

The pair said the results were so good that Tracey decided she would benefit from the same operation.

Tracey, who reached more than 20st, said: “He was on his feet most of the working day and by the time he got home it was all he could do to walk from the car.

“I was also overweight and I really felt for him. No-one could have tried harder to diet but in the end we could see that wasn’t going to answer the problem.

“When I saw how well Keith was doing I was amazed.

“I had type 2 diabetes and was on the verge of needing insulin, my blood pressure was high and I was also suffering joint pain.

“I was at one of Keith’s meetings with Mr Mannur and I plucked up the courage to ask if a gastric sleeve would work for me.

“Don’t let anyone tell you having surgery is an easy option. Even after the sleeve is fitted it is tough.

“You still have to watch what you eat, understand the nutritional value of food and you do have to make the effort to exercise – but it is easier.

“The sleeve means you are full up on much less food and once you see the weight starting to go it really does inspire you to carry on and lose more.”

Keith is now down to thirteen-and-a-half stone and Tracey now weighs 11st.

Mr Mannur said there was no hiding the fact that both Keith and Tracey were dangerously overweight and putting their health at risk as a result.

He said: “As with most people who have this procedure they had been through endless diets and weight-loss regimes but, in the end, it was obvious that they needed that extra help that could only be got with bariatric surgery. It is technically a precision surgery where three quarters of the stomach – including the area which contains ghrelin, known as the ‘hunger hormone’ - is removed through minimally-invasive keyhole surgery.

“One could go to the gym and go swimming one week after surgery and go back to work one to two weeks after surgery.”