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  • Big Fella
  • Big Fella

Big Fella

SKU: SG659
    Rodney is about to undergo revolutionary lap-band surgery.'

    'Rodney is about to undergo revolutionary lap-band surgery.'

    Over and over this sentence has been dominating Rodney's thoughts, as he wonders about the journey he is about to embark on. What if this? What if that?

    Big Fella (Michael Longbottom, 2010) follows Rodney over a year as he radically transforms his life and becomes a role model for his family and his community.

    Rodney is slightly anxious about the procedure, but also excited. He explains, 'It's a small band filled with saline, which restricts the amount of food that can be consumed, so it induces weight loss by reducing the capacity of the stomach.'

    Since its clinical introduction in 1993, more than 300,000 lap-band procedures have been performed around the world. Rodney explains that the procedure, for some unknown reason, can cure diabetes. It's a medical fact and it has the experts baffled but very pleased.

    The journey for Rodney begins two weeks before he undergoes lap-band surgery. He weighs 185kg and doctors feel it is necessary for him to lose at least 85kg in order to prevent a stroke or heart attack in the next couple of years. In the two weeks leading up to the surgery, while it is very difficult for him, he loses the first 10kg.

    Rodney's family tearfully bid him good luck in the hospital before he is wheeled off to surgery. All of the family are overweight and suffer from the same health problems as Rodney, and they are as eager as him to see the operation go well as they understand what an impact his weight has on his life, health and happiness.

    The surgery goes well, and although he is in a lot of pain, Rodney is both relieved and excited. His large group of mates crowd into his hospital room and it is hard for Rodney to keep from laughing, even though his stomach is extremely sore. As the weeks go by, Rodney loses more and more weight. Once he would wake with a heavy feeling and a dread of the world; now he is invigorated and pesters his mates to train and run with him on a daily basis.

    Although Rodney has already lost 50kg, he is not complacent, and trains hard to try to lose at least another 20kg. Rodney is urged on by a number of things: he has bought new clothes in a 'normal' shop and feels like he is starting to look attractive, he has been on a number of dates and can be found most Saturday nights at a nightclub in Randwick, his diabetes has disappeared and he no longer requires medication for it, he is able to train, and he is fit and able to do tasks he would never have previously attempted. Rodney is undertaking the full range of tasks at work and is training for the annual City2Surf run.

    Big Fella follows Rodney through this radical life transformation.

    CURRICULUM APPLICABILITYBig Fella runs for 26 minutes and can be used as a resource at middle- to upper-secondary level in the areas of:

    • Health Education
    • Indigenous Studies
    • Society and Environment
    • English

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