“You can’t live like this anymore”

Resident of Samambaia Sul, housewife Elundina Santos Brandão, 43, weighs 240kg, suffers from morbid obesity and asks for help to undergo bariatric surgery through the public health system.

Elundina is from Guadalupe, Piauí, and would have to lose weight to undergo the procedure. However, she cannot afford to comply with the expert-guided diet.

To metropolises, the woman reported that, just during the new coronavirus pandemic period, in approximately a year and a half, she gained about 100kg.

The war against the disease lasts about 10 years. Currently, Elundina is no longer able to do simple day-to-day tasks such as getting around her own house, going to the bathroom and taking a shower alone. She also feels short of breath when sleeping and has obesity-related problems such as high blood pressure, among others.

“I worked as a maid, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2016, at an advanced level, and I had to undergo surgery. At the time, I weighed just over 155kg. I had surgery in the private network and I was cured of cancer. After that, I gained even more weight”, he says.

In 2020, suffering from chronic anxiety, weight gain accelerated.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, I was still able to do basic tasks. Cooked and cleaned. I lost all health and gained more weight. Almost 100kg. It gave erysipelas on my leg, which is an infectious process of the skin, which can reach the fat in the cell tissue, caused by a bacteria that spreads through the lymphatic vessels. I got a lot worse”, he adds.

Today, she can hardly walk anymore and complains about her hard belly, which she drags on the floor. “You can’t live like this anymore. I call it a stone belly. I carry a huge weight. It’s like someone else. I’ve already fallen and hurt myself because of my belly. That’s what bothers me the most”, he laments.

See images of Elundina:

Medication

Elundina has been married for 18 years to machine operator João Batista Paixão, 55. Her husband earns a monthly minimum wage to support his wife and two daughters who live with them. The family cannot afford to buy the drugs prescribed by the doctors for the wife.

After undergoing a medical consultation with an endocrinologist at the Regional Hospital of Taguatinga (HRT), the specialist prescribed at least eight medicines to help with weight loss. However, the most important of them, to be applied weekly, costs more than R$ 800. The formula is Ozempic. Another one that can be a substitute for the drug is Saxenda, with a value of R$700. But Elundina showed a reaction after ingesting the second substance.

“She is registered with the Unified Health System (SUS), but cannot undergo the stomach reduction procedure before losing weight. It would have to reach 190kg. The BMI is at 92. It’s quite high. Surgeons don’t want to take the risk of operating, and she loses her life. What worries us is that she can’t take it. The belly issue is serious. We are afraid of breaking up. She already has edema and blisters. It can’t go any further”, points out the husband. “We are afraid of her going to sleep and not waking up”, he adds.

Another constraint is going to the bathroom. João adapted a bucket so that Elundina doesn’t have to get up all the time.

Help

Seeking to change this reality, the woman wants to undergo treatment to lose weight and be able to operate. She needs collaboration to raise resources and asks anyone who can help, either financially or with medical support, to contact her family by phone: (61) 9 9221-5099 or (61) 9204-0310.

“I need help and support to start this treatment. I do not know where to start. That’s why I make this appeal”, pleads Elundina.

João Batista says that his wife’s biggest dream is to get rid of the weight that makes her belly touch the ground.

“The skin is very sensitive, and she is afraid of getting an infection. We are hopeful that someone can be sensitive to the situation and support it. I don’t lose faith and hope to still see her walking. Every day, I look to God for the strength to be able to help her”, concludes her husband.