Robert Buchel, a man that weighed 842lbs but was in the middle of his weight loss journey, passed away while filming the process for TLC’s show “My 600-Lb. Life.” He was 41.
The reality show, which follows morbidly obese people on their journey to drop some pounds and renew their lives with a healthy approach, aired Buchel’s episode last March. However, it was later revealed by the network and Robert’s fiancé that he had died from a cardiac arrest in November.
Buchel and his fiancé, Kathryn Lemanski, had to move from New Jersey to Houston so renowned surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan could treat him. After a messy car journey, during which he had to be rescued by paramedics after falling to the floor, Buchel was accepted in the hospital.
The man was later moved into a rehabilitation facility, where he eventually began walking and dropped 217lbs in preparation for a lymphedema removal surgery. But after he got the surgery, the pain became too much for Robert, and he got depressed and addicted to painkillers.
“To carry all this weight is physically draining - mentally, emotionally taxing," he said on the show. "It's not a pain or life I wish on anyone, because I can't do anything. I can't do anything for anyone - especially myself."
BATTLING AN ADDICTION ON TOP OF ALL THE WEIGHT
When Nowzaradan learned of Robert’s addiction to the painkillers, he weaned off them. But Buchel’s attitude changed completely, he even tore his stitches in an attempt to get the meds. “It's like a flip has been switched. He's been nasty since the surgery because he can't get the drugs,” said Kathryn.
Robert went back to the rehab facility but refused to cooperate. A few weeks later, he suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away with Kathryn by his side. The woman recalled on the show Robert’s last words for her:
“He told me: 'I don't think I'll make it through the night. I love you and I always will'.”
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
TLC said in a statement for People that they were “deeply saddened” by Robert’s passing. And added:
“We are grateful to his family who were gracious enough to let us continue to share his brave story with our viewers. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.”
A few days after the death of her fiancé, Kathryn took to Facebook to write a post about her loss, revealing that in his last days alive, Robert was starting to feel hopeful about his future and the life he always wanted.
“My heart died along with him. Our future together died along with him. Next year we were going to be getting married in Walt Disney World and have our own Disney Fairytale Wedding. We were going to start a family. We were going to grow old together. Everything we were ever going to be can now never be.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of adults in the United States are battling with obesity. It is a huge problem, and in most cases, obesity can increase a person’s chance of developing high pressure, heart problems, and strokes.
December 18, 2018