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300 kg man is removed from home by crane in France

1.Dec.2020 – Doctors from SAMU (French Urgent Medical Assistance Service) use a crane to lift a man with morbid obesity from the first floor of his home in Perpignan, France. The 53-year-old man’s family asked the state for help to help with treatment Image: RAYMOND ROIG / AFP

Unable to leave his home in Perpignan in southwest France for years, a man weighing around 300 kg was evacuated today by a crane, after hours of preparation and intervention by almost 50 people.

The delicate intervention, potentially dangerous to the man, Alain Panabière, required the consolidation of the two-story house located in a neighborhood with narrow streets and the destruction of part of the facade.

The 53-year-old man was transported horizontally in a large white container, suspended by a crane, and then placed in a specialized ambulance, the prefecture of the department of the Eastern Pyrenees said.

More than 50 people have been mobilized since the morning, including police, firefighters and medical staff, but also city and department officials.

“In order not to take risks, the neighbors were asked to temporarily leave their homes during the operation,” said the city.

Panabière will be taken to a hospital in Montpellier for a “global assessment” of his health, before being transferred a few weeks later to a rehabilitation center, according to the head of the endocrinology department, diabetes and nutrition, Antoine Avignon.

“When we remobilize a person immobilized for two to five years, there is a risk of circulatory decompensation, of thrombosis. It is a cardiovascular system that is at rest for a long time that is reactivated,” said the doctor.

Prisoner at home for years and immobilized on the floor for more than a year “after probably breaking a leg,” according to his lawyer Jean Codognès, Panabière was fed by his brother, but his health was rapidly deteriorating.

After months of negotiations between his family, his lawyer and the authorities, a solution was found and the operation was prepared and coordinated by the services of the State, the department and the city hall.

Codognès sent a letter to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin in late October to ask for urgent intervention. A few days later, his client and the National League against Obesity filed a complaint for “not assisting a person in danger”.

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