A dad-of-six with five giant hernias that "make him look pregnant" has revealed he nearly died while waiting for surgery.
Mark Webb cannot eat without vomiting and has lost seven stone in less than a year – but his issue is not considered an emergency .
The 39-year-old says he has come close to dying a few times and his health is constantly deteriorating.
Mark, from Bodmin, Cornwall, said: "I look like I'm carrying a baby under my top.
“I know it sounds funny and I know people don’t actually mean any harm when they say I look pregnant, but living this way is absolute hell.
"I have come very close to dying on more than one occasion and I can’t bear the thought of leaving my family.”
He actually has five protruding hernias – which are so painful they even give him contractions.
Mark first had a hernia removed in January 2017, but it returned and he eventually was referred to another doctor in October.
But he was told his case was too complicated and was referred to someone else – who told him surgery would be too dangerous.
They advised he lose 10kg and come back in ten weeks – which he did – but in the meantime two more hernias formed.
But he didn't hear back and when he called the doctor, he was told he was on leave and may not be returning.
He is still waiting for another refferal.
A few months ago, his wife, Maria, found him "half-dead" slouched on the sofa.
He had been vomiting all night and was struggling to breathe just hours after being discharged from hospital.
She says if she hadn't called the paramedics that day, he'd be dead.
He added: "Mark is literally disappearing in front of my eyes.
"If he doesn't have it soon the kids will end up being left without a dad."
Mark has been suffering with hernias for more than ten years and has had numerous operations to repair them.
He has also had to have a testicle removed.
In the meantime, he is forced to wear a coat even on hot days and wear the baggiest jumpers he can find.
He used to love swimming but is now too embarrassed to be seen topless in a pool – even if he could physically swim.
He also takes strong painkillers including morphine every day.
Maria added: "It makes me sad that all of our kids have to see their dad as a frail 90-year-old man."
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