Weight loss journey of Tweed man who weighed 175kg
RON Jones used to pin competitors down in a wrestling career which took him to the Olympics.
But in later years, it was him that was pinned to his bed because of his 175kg weight problem.
"The doctor told me that they would have to amputate my leg, and if they didn't, I was lucky to survive three more days because the antibiotics had stopped working and infection was present," Mr Jones said.
Mr Jones wrestled for 25 years, earning some impressive achievements, including winning Olympic and Commonwealth Games events as well as competitions around Australia.
He stopped wrestling when he broke his arm, and he turned to coaching.
Things started to decline when his wife Sue passed away.
Losing motivation, Mr Jones spent most of his time inside, slowly putting on weight until it was hard for him to even stand.
"The hospital got me to take antibiotics for my bedsores but it stopped working after a while and I had to get taken to hospital," he said. "I was in a bad state."
But not bad enough to be willing to lose that leg.
"I will walk to hell and back before you take my leg," he told staff.
Mr Jones decided to fight and the Tweed Hospital put him on what's called a "starvation diet" which consists of very small amounts of vegetables and protein powders, slowly increasing amounts and then eventually adding meat.
Mr Jones spent five months in the Tweed Hospital and three months in the rehab section of the Murwillumbah Hospital, during which time he lost 51kg.
"For exercise I had to walk around the corridors and had hand weights.
"I would always do a little bit more for extra TV privileges.
"The staff in the hospital are unsung heroes.
"They are an inspiration and if it wasn't for them pushing me, I would have failed."
Mr Jones is still continuing the diet outside the hospital and has lost a further 4kg since he left the hospital on February 3.