Windsor woman gains social media attention after gastric bypass surgery

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Windsor woman gains social media attention after gastric bypass surgery

After losing 185 pounds worth of weight, a local woman has gained a huge following on social media.

Kayla Butcher underwent gastric bypass surgery in February 2016 after struggling with obesity all her life, but said she "feels more self conscious now" than she did before the surgery.

The 24-year-old estimates she still carries more than 20 extra pounds in skin.

"It's frustrating and I am more self-conscious naked than I was prior," Butcher said.

But instead of covering up, she did the exact opposite. Butcher created an Instagram account and, standing in her underwear, boldly posted photos and videos of her excess skin.

Before she knew it, she had more than 16,000 followers and hundreds of people from around the world had commented on her pictures with words of encouragement.

"I don't have a lot of people in my life so having complete strangers be 100 per cent supportive … has been a huge, huge help," she said.

Butcher received so much motivation from her fanbase that she was convinced to start a GoFundMe account to raise money for skin removal.

Skin removal surgery is just too expensive to cover alone, said Butcher, adding although her skin isn't causing her any physical issues it is causing her to struggle mentally.

"I suffer from it every day," she explained. "When you have thoughts that you almost want to go in with scissors and cut it off yourself instead of living with it, there's a problem."

Gastric bypass surgery is funded by the government, but unless it's deemed medically necessary, surgery for skin removal is not.

Butcher said the government needs to take the mental side effects more seriously.

"It was medically necessary to have this surgery and I suffer now from more mental issues than I did being almost 400 pounds," she added.

The GoFundMe page has raised more than $3,500 towards her $10,000 goal so far.

Butcher says skin removal surgery would be the last step towards achieving the confidence she craves.

"It's like being released from the chains that are keeping me as the obese woman that I was," she said. "I am a butterfly wrapped in a cocoon and I am ready to spread my wings and fly."