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On a Friday morning in June, 2002, Charlie Weis, an offensive coach for the New England Patriots, checked into Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He was nervous about his bariatric surgery scheduled for that morning, and he hoped no one recognized him. In a few hours, Weis, a self-described "pudge ball" through adult life,Â would wake up in the post-anesthesia care unit without a stomach and with a catheter inside his penis, a breathing tube down his throat, and a morphine pump and intravenous line in his hand.
He had tried every diet under the sun, and he was worried that his obesity would prevent him from getting a head coach's job in the National Football League.Â His father had died of a heart attack at age 56, and the younger Weis wanted to be around for his own children, one of whom was developmentally disabled.
Weis's first hours in recovery went well.
At around 6:00 pm, his surgeon was comfortable enough to go home for the night.
But early next morning, Weis felt worse. His chest felt heavy. The doctors suspected a blood clot in his lungs, an embolism, but a CT scan showed nothing. His intensive care nurse later testified that a large amount of blood was coming out of a stomach tube. A hospitalist gave Weis a blood transfusion.Â By Sunday morning,Â Weis was delirious. He developed a severe bacterial infection. He went into coma. On Sunday afternoon, surgeons pulled out his stitches, found an astometis had developed between his new, tiny digestive sack and his old stomach. Pools of congealed blood in his abdomen were a breeding ground for bacteria. Weis nearly died.