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  1. ITV Report

Overweight dad's foot saved by dedication of sons

Credit: Anthony and Ian Whitington

After years of overeating, drinking too much alcohol and never exercising, the good life finally caught up with Geoff Whitington.

The 64-year-old from Singleton in Kent was told by doctors in 2013 that type 2 diabetes brought on by his lifestyle would mean he would have to have a foot amputated.

But his family weren't prepared to accept that diagnoses and set themselves the task of turning Geoff's life around - and capturing his story in a documentary.

Credit: Anthony and Ian Whitington

His sons Anthony and Ian decided that their own lives had to wait and they embarked on a mission to restore their dad's health and enjoyment of life.

They had to battle with decades of engrained and destructive habits and negativity but were able to transform their father from a barely mobile security guard to a fighting fit endurance cyclist.

Altering his diet and keeping up with regular exercise saw Geoff drop from 20 stone to 13 and a half, and improve his circulation.

Credit: ITV News

No-one could have been worse than me. I was a couch potato. I'd eat any rubbish I could find. I can't say enough about what the boys have done. They were incredible.

– Geoff Whitington
Credit: Anthony and Ian Whitington

Anthony and Ian, both experienced film-makers, decided to make the documentary, Fixing Dad to capture their father's struggle back to fitness.

Two years later, his health has improved dramatically. Geoff is on his bike every day and is planning to take part in the Prudential RideLondon for the second time.

We didn't know how any of this would end. We hoped we could make dad feel better physically but also remind him of how loved he is and how important he is to the whole family.

– Anthony Whittington, son

The Kent-based charity the Paula Carr Trust has backed the family in their campaign and provided funding for the film Fixing Dad.

You can find out more about Fixing Dad on their website.

Here is the full report by Tom Savvides. It includes interviews with Geoff Whitington, his sons Ian and Anthony and Gary Fagg from the Paula Carr Diabetes Trust.