A GRIEF-stricken husband who fell into a weight-related coma has praised hospital staff for saving his life.

Anthony Leonard, 63, lost his wife and mother in a six-week period and tried to eat away his pain and depression, putting on a significant amount of weight over two years.

After being rushed into hospital, in June 2018, he was admitted to the critical care unit at Basildon Hospital.

He suffered chronic kidney disease, and other medical conditions, including heart disease and congestive cardiac failure.

Anthony, who had been married for 41 years, realised he was in the same room as his wife when she died at hospital.

He struggled with grief, but occupational therapist Claire Rock and physiotherapists, Katie Jellett and Katie Partridge, supported him with his rehabilitation, which Anthony is thankful for.

Speaking about his weight loss journey, Anthony said: “I’m lucky to be alive. Dr Akhtar and the whole team at Basildon Hospital have given me a new lease of life and I could never repay them, everyone was brilliant.

“I was really in a dark place and I’m grateful that I had the support to help me recover.

“I had to decide whether I wanted to be here or not, but I needed to be here for my daughter, Kimberley, so I kept on going.”

Occupational therapist Claire, after seeing Anthony a year on, said: “I was walking down the corridor and I didn’t recognise him. It’s great to see Anthony doing well despite his difficult journey.

“He really is a testament that with the right support and people around you, you can achieve your goals.

“We gave him the push he needed and he has stayed consistent and continues to be motivated.”

A year on from his initial admission to Basildon hospital, Anthony is on the road to recovery and is determined to lose a further four stones so he can return to his old life and get out of the wheelchair and walk again.