Mother-of-four, 32, dies after ‘starving slowly over 18 months’ following gastric sleeve surgery abroad

2 September 2023, 16:41 | Updated: 2 September 2023, 16:49

Shannon Meenan Browse, 32, was left unable to eat after the surgery.
Shannon Meenan Browse, 32, was left unable to eat after the surgery. Picture: Facebook/Gofundme

By Jenny Medlicott

A mother-of-four 'slowly starved to death over 18 months' after a gastric sleeve operation she had abroad went wrong.

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Shannon Meenan Browse, 32, from Derry died last week after she was left unable to eat without vomiting following gastric sleeve surgery.

She travelled abroad to have her surgery for weight loss in February last year.

However, after her surgery she became so ill her teeth started to rot, her hair began to fall out out and she was unable to eat any solid food.

Before her surgery, the mother-of-four lost five stone with the assistance of a personal trainer and regular exercise regime but she was later forced to stop her workout routine after she developed myopathy - a disease which affects the voluntary movement of muscles and mobility.

She then sought gastric sleeve surgery to assist her weight loss, which is when things took a turn for the worse.

Her family said she slowly starved to death in the 18 months after her surgery.

In July, Shannon was waiting to be transferred to a hospital in London to receive life-saving liver transplant surgery.

However she died last week on August 25 from multiple organ failure in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

Her husband, Don, said her death had been “soul destroying”, adding that she had “more or less starved the whole way through”.

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Shannon died of multiple organ failure last week.
Shannon died of multiple organ failure last week. Picture: Gofundme

“The water from a pot noodle was all she was eating. She had cramps and pain, and she was throwing up so much her teeth were rotting from the acid in her stomach. She was completely run down and started losing all her hair.

“We didn't know it was going to come to this. We would get a wee bit of hope when she would try to eat some more, but then it would be back to square one again. She couldn't handle solid food at all. It went on for 17 or 18 months,” he told Belfast Live.

She leaves behind four boys, a 14-year-old, twins aged seven and a five-year-old.

Risks associated with this type of surgery include difficulty swallowing, vomiting and in rare cases death.

“A sleeve gastrectomy is where a large part of the stomach is removed so it's much smaller than it was before," the NHS website says.

“This means you cannot eat as much as you could before surgery and you'll feel full sooner."

Risks associated with this type of surgery include difficulty swallowing, vomitting and in rare cases death.

Her husband, Don, urged those seeking weight loss surgery abroad to do their research beforehand.

He said that while their three eldest sons are aware of their mother's death, the youngest still doesn't understand.

"I tell him 'mammy is an angel now, living up in the clouds'. I have a photo of her from her hen party with angel wings, so I tell him that's her with her angel wings on now."