Most of us are guilty of feeling overly sorry for ourselves from time to time (missed bus, forgotten password, tangled headphones). But Oliver Pugh had every right to feel sorry for himself after his life began taking a nosedive when he was just 22-years-old.
Mr Pugh, from Buxton, Derbyshire, UK, had lived an active lifestyle, enjoying hobbies such as martial arts, boxing and rugby alongside his job as a labourer. However, his life was turned on its head in 2012.
After losing half of his thumb in an industrial accident in June, the dad-of-two went back to the doctors when he started to suffer from hip pain.
Mr Pugh described himself as the ‘unluckiest man in the world’. Credit: SWNS
It transpired that this hip pain was being caused by a spinal cord tumour and Mr Pugh subsequently had two failed operations to remove the tumour. His fortunes were only to get worse though after the wound got infected and he contracted meningitis and the super bug, MRSA.
Having fought through all that, Mr Pugh had a heart attack in December 2015.
Speaking to LADbible, he said: “I was definitely the unluckiest man in the world.
“Because of the tumour my heart was pumping more and more blood around my body and was needing to work harder and harder while the tumour kept growing.”
He spent a week in intensive care and gradually lost the use of his legs, becoming wheelchair-bound. Doctors had a third go at removing the tumour, wary of causing permanent nerve damage, and Mr Pugh knew going into it that it would be a ‘coin toss’ whether or not he regained the use of his legs; mercifully, the operation was a success.
The aforementioned severe health problems had taken their toll on Mr Pugh though, and his inability to live an active lifestyle had led him to pile on weight, leading him to suffer from low self esteem, anxiety and depression.
Mr Pugh piled on weight as a result of his health problems. Credit: LADbible
After having a hip replacement operation, Mr Pugh was advised to try and shed some weight, but numerous diet plans didn’t do the trick.
Apprehensively, he joined Transformation HQ gym – the first gym he had ever been to – and took the first steps on his remarkable road to recovery, with the help of trainer Carl Lambert.
He said: “I expressed my concerns to Carl about my spinal operations and my replaced hip and how I was worried that I may injure myself or not be able to perform the exercises required. Carl put my mind at rest by showing and explaining the dos and don’ts for each area concerned and we came up with adapted versions to cater to my less-able body.
“As the weeks went by my confidence grew and I thoroughly enjoyed each session, it was liberating to be able to enjoy some exercise again.”
Over the course of the next 11 months, and with plenty of dedicated training and dieting, Mr Pugh lost almost eight stone – having weighed over 18 stone when he first embarked on his transformation.
Mr Pugh almost halved his body weight. Credit: LADbible
At 29 years of age and working as a pub landlord, Mr Pugh is now positive about the future.
He said: “I can now say I have reached my weight loss goal and I am thrilled. Although I still have health issues and I am awaiting another hip replacement, I’m confident that my recovery will be a lot easier now I have invested in my health.
“My new goal is to maintain my new shape for a time before adding additional muscle.”
So don’t sit and curse next time your headphones get tangled people – Mr Pugh has been through a hell of a lot worse.