A Brighton-based television crew has spent a year filming a 49-year-old described as Britain’s fattest man.
The footage will be broadcast tonight in an hour-long documentary on Channel 4.
Electric Sky Productions, of Clifton Mews, Brighton, said that Paul Mason, who is estimated to weigh about 70 stone, has been given only a few years to live by doctors.
He said that he wanted surgery to staple his stomach but was turned down for the operation.
Instead, he is mostly bed-bound and his care costs taxpayers £2,000 as he is unable to do most things for himself.
The documentary shows Mr Mason being referred to Shaw Somers, one of Britain’s leading bariatric surgeons.
But there are huge complications before he can decide whether surgery is even possible.
No one knew Mr Mason’s exact weight and finding out posed logistical and technological problems.
There were doubts about whether floors at the hospital would take his weight so engineers were called in to reinforce them.
And transporting Mr Mason to hospital was also a challenge as he had not been outside for years and was too big to fit in an ambulance.
The NHS considered hiring a Chinook helicopter to carry Mr Mason who then found himself the subject of news reports.
The ensuing coverage placed him at the forefront of one of most contentious debates facing the health service today: should the morbidly obese be entitled to taxpayer funded treatment on the NHS?
And if not what are the alternatives?
For Mr Mason, the operation offers a lifeline, although he is told that he stands only a 50/50 chance of survival.
And even if he survives, there is no guarantee that he will realise his dream of being able to walk again.
The Brighton company’s programme is due to be shown at 9.35pm.