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A man who vomited every time he ate and was "days away from death" has undergone an amazing health transformation and has now become a full-time baker.

Benjamin Michael, 20, from London, fell ill in March 2020 at the start of the first Covid lockdown and within seven months his health had deteriorated so much that he was "on the brink of death".

He told the Daily Star: "All of a sudden I started to suffer extreme indigestion, acid reflex and vomited every time I ate. My body effectively lost the ability to digest food."

Due to the pain he was barely able to eat and lost over 4st as a result, going from 11.7st at the start of his illness in March, to 7.4st in October.

He continued: "I grew weaker by the day and was almost bed ridden, unable to walk, work or live any sort of normal life.

"I was told by my doctors that if I carried on not eating, my organs would shut down and I would die. By October I was probably days away from death."

All the suffering and pain Benjamin went through caused him to develop PTSD and a fear of food – the one thing he needed in order to keep himself alive.

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The 20-year-old said: "I couldn't even look at a plate of food without breaking down and having panic attacks. Whenever I was faced with a plate of food I would burst into tears, run out of the room and have a panic attack.

"I attempted to end my life on several occasions rather than face the food."

Benjamin knew he had to overcome his fear if he were to recover, so towards the end of last year he started experimenting with cooking and baking.

He tried lots of different things before settling on baking cinnamon buns, as he says he associates them with "comfort food that is safe to eat" and reminded him of happier days when he was healthy before lockdown.

He added: "This somehow gave me the confidence to start eating again."

He admits that prior to his illness he had never baked before, but after conducting a lot of research and experimentation, he came up with his recipes.

After months of baking his cinnamon buns, which he claims he eats "all the time as they are irresistibly tasty", his health started to improve and he has been gaining back the weight he lost.

He is currently at 9st, half way back to where he was 21 months ago before his illness.

Only last month he decided to quit his job as an estate agent and work full-time as a baker, setting up his own baking business – Benji's Buns – and could not be happier as a result.

He said: "The reception I've got from people has been amazing, I sold over 1,000 buns in the first two weeks alone.

"I'm so proud of myself that I went from being somebody who was afraid of food to now cooking it themselves for the public. It has been my greatest achievement!"

  • London
  • Hospital
  • Food
  • Coronavirus

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