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Diet pills nearly killed Haverhill dad-of-one

Lewis Brown in hospital ANL-160401-171747001
Lewis Brown in hospital ANL-160401-171747001

A dad was given hours to live after he overdosed on controversial diet pills - which ‘cooked’ his body from the inside.

The lab worker - who went to the gym everyday - then turned to controversial diet pills DNP last summer to help him lose extra fat so he could add more muscle.

Lewis Brown's leg while in hospital. ANL-160401-171853001
Lewis Brown's leg while in hospital. ANL-160401-171853001

But the father-of-one overdosed when he took eight of the ‘fat burners’ in a day and the poisonous chemicals increased his body temperature to almost 42 degrees.

Worried medics were forced to put Lewis in a coma while they covered him in ice, but when his muscles started to die, his devastated family were called to say goodbye.

Miraculously Lewis pulled through - but not before medics were forced to cut out a leg muscle which had died.

Now he is warning of the dangers of the illegal pills which can easily be bought for just 3p each online.

Lewis said: “I was so out of it about getting bigger that I thought I was unstoppable. I just wanted to be better than anyone else.

“I was a different person then - everyone has said. All I was interested in was getting bigger and I just didn’t know what I was doing. “I’m just lucky that I’m still alive.

“I remember seeing a story about DNP and people who died and just thinking they weren’t taking them right.

“But I have done it myself now and I can tell you, you just get caught up in it so quickly.”

Lewis, who lives with partner Tara Watterson, 25, started going to the gym when he was aged 20 and weighed a healthy ten stone.

But around two years ago he started using steroids he bought online and from pals to bulk up, and reached around 15-and-a-half stone.

He forked out around £100 a month for the medicines, which he would inject or take orally two or three times a week.

Despite noticing he was becoming aggressive and obsessive, the gym fanatic continued to work out.

As well as taking steroids, he bought DNP pills - dinitrophenol - off the internet for £30 a packet, in a bid to get a ‘summer body’ in July.

DNP causes the body to run out of energy, accelerates metabolism to a dangerously fast level and causes the body’s temperature to rise.

He had taken three or four of the controversial tablets a day for a couple of weeks in early 2015, but on July 23 he took eight in 12 hours - his first day of re-taking the tablets.

The near-fatal does was the exact number taken by student Eloise Parry, 21, from Shrewsbury, who died just months earlier.

“I was hoping the steroids would keep the muscles, but the tablets would strip the fat,” he said.

“I took three in the morning and I didn’t feel anything for a few hours, so stupidly I took another five.”

Realising his mistake when he started to get hotter and hotter, he drove himself to accident and emergency at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Medics ordered him to neck a charcoal drink to ‘soak up’ the chemicals, but the toxic chemicals were already attacking his body.

His temperature soared to a staggering 39.8 degrees, and doctors put him in an induced coma and gave him ice baths, while warning his family to prepare for the worst.

“They said if I didn’t drink it I could die,” he said.

“I remember drinking it, but that’s the last thing I remember.

“Apparently after that I started to get really confused and they called my family.

“My body was just heating up and cooking from the inside out.

“I was put in the coma I think to stop my body moving and doing anything that would cause heat.

“The doctors told my family I could have just two or three hours to live, and that I wouldn’t make it through the night.

“They all thought that was it.”

He spent three days in a coma and a week in intensive care, before doctors were forced to perform three operations to cut out his entire muscle at the front of his left leg.

It had been killed off when it was “cooked” by the drugs, and it took Lewis four months to recover and get back to work.

Lewis, who had previously never revealed the full extend of his obsession to his family before, has spoken out to raise awareness of the dangers of steroids and diet pills.

He said: “I’ve got this leg now, but it’s just something I have to deal with.

“Before I was a bit reclusive and everything annoyed me, and I didn’t want to do anything.

“Now I’m getting back to my old self. My family are really relieved.

“The doctors have said I’m very lucky to be alive.

“I’m going to go back to the gym because I like to keep fit, but I’m never touching pills or steroids ever again.”

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