A Mansfield man who is thought to have the world's biggest hernia could be one step closer to life-changing surgery, after a healthy eating firm vowed to help turn his life around.
Dean Carron, aged 43, was told last year that his hernia, which weighs in at almost five stones, is possibly the largest of its kind in the world.
He had been told by doctors in the UK that they could no longer operate on him, but learnt in April that he has a chance of getting the huge hernia removed by visiting a surgeon in America.
But he also learned that he needs to lose some weight before the life-saving surgery can take place, something that has been "almost impossible" due to the size of the hernia.
He was told by surgeons that he needs to lose about three stones before the operation can "safely take place", but Dean's lack of mobility has made it difficult to exercise and "maintain a healthy diet".
However, when visiting his pharmacy at Oakwood Surgery in Mansfield, Dean came into contact with the director of Protein House in Derby - a company which creates, manufactures and delivers healthy diet plans straight to your door.
Thanks to the company, he now receives two deliveries of healthy meals to his door every week - enough for him to eat three nutritious meals every day and naturally lose weight - and all free of charge.
Dean says this could be "life changing" and was shocked when the offer was made, saying "this doesn't happen to someone like me".
He said: "The meals are absolutely amazing. They come to me every Thursday and Sunday and they're enough for me to eat properly and not snack.
"Lifestyle changes are a big thing for me. I'm not very mobile and so I do find myself snacking, but now I'm a lot better - and the meals are so nice, I honestly don't think I'd go back.
"It came about because I was talking to a man called Faisal in the chemist, who it turned out owned the company, and I told him my story. He rang the company up and made sure they gave me a good service.
"I've been told I need to lose about three stones to get the operation, but I want to lose a bit more. And this will hopefully get me there. That would be mind blowing.
"I can't even describe how it would feel if I got the operation, because it is quite literally life-changing. I won't get people staring at me in the street wondering if I'm fat, and having to explain that it's just a hernia."
Dean was helped by the director of Protein House, Faisal Hussain, who believes that with the right diet plan, Dean could "easily reach his target".
He said: "When I met Dean everyone had lost him in him, telling him that they couldn't help him anymore. But I don't think that's true.
"A lot of what he needs to do requires a healthy and balanced diet, and I believe nutritious food is better than medicine in situations like this.
"With a bit of guidance and food delivered to him every week, it will help him become a bit more active and the weight will drop off.
"This is a huge lifestyle change and a long term thing, but if we can help him get his life back it would be an incredible achievement.
"More of this would help the NHS in the long run, and generally a healthy body is a healthy mind, and a healthy mind is a healthy life."