BAKERSFIELD, CA - It's been almost a year since we introduced you to a local man living with a nearly 200 pound mass.
Larry West lived with the giant growth for 14 years. His insurance wouldn't cover having it removed. But, last August, he changed insurance companies and changed his life.
West has had two surgeries to remove the mass. There is far less of him now, but he's gaining his life back.
"I was about to accept the fact that was the way my life was going to be," said West of his condition a year ago.
Last August, West could hardly move with the giant growth hanging from his waist to the floor. And when he did move, it was painful.
But after two surgeries to remove the mass, one in August of 2013 and the most recent this May, West is back in physical therapy. He is moving, sitting and standing, and even walking, steps he'd nearly given up on.
"I didn't have a life before," said West. "I couldn't even go to the movies. I couldn't do nothing. You know, I want to go to the ball games and movies. I want to go fishing."
"He's making all of these plans and I don't know what's going on anymore," laughed West's wife, Charlotte.
When West first began his journey, he weighed 536 pounds. Today, he's down to 366, 170 pounds lighter.
"Nothing fits him anymore. His clothes are falling off. And, he has drawstrings. And, he's got them tied tight and they are falling off of him," said Charlotte.
"I can drive now. I got clearance to drive and I went up and down my steps twice yesterday," said West.
Joints that hadn't moved in 14 years are creaking back into place. And, muscles that could once only be molded into a recliner, are forming to create a new life for a new man.
"Now it's an ease. I don't have that anymore. I'm not shortness of breath anymore and I feel great.Yep, I can live again," said West.
West says he doesn't have to go through any more surgeries.
He says his goal is to walk without his walker, then without a cane.
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