842 lbs man passes away from heart attack during filming of 'My 600 lb Life'
Robert Buchel weighed 842 pounds and he wanted to change. He wanted to live the life he always wanted and he wanted to lose weight. Tragically, he died trying to achieve his dream.
Forty one-year-old Robert Buchel was set to be an inspiration to millions of people around the world. Morbidly obese, at one point weighing in at a whopping 842 pounds, he had enrolled the help of Texas doctor Younan Nowzaradan in a bid to lose weight.
He had experienced tremendous success in his quest as well, dropping over 300 pounds in the space of five months. His story was going to be aired on this week's episode of TLC's reality show 'My 600 lb Life' but it has been revealed that Buchel tragically passed away during the filming of the show on November 15, 2017, from a heart attack.
A resident of Forked River, New Jersey, he had moved with fiancé Kathryn Lemanski to Houston to be close to Nowzaradan and get started with the rigorous schedule that would see him drastically reduce weight in the upcoming months.
The journey to Houston in itself had proven to be a problem. His massive frame meant that transportation was always going to be an issue and as they attempted to move him by car, he fell on the floor. He had to be then rescued by paramedics and taken to the hospital.
Buchel was determined to shed all his extra fat and the process began in earnest as he lost 124 pounds in his first month alone, dropping to 718 pounds. He was subsequently taken to a rehab facility where he would slowly begin walking and taking his first steps, losing a further 215 pounds in the next two months.
As his weight-loss regimen continued, he lost another 80 pounds and soon was measured to weigh 547 pounds. It was at this point that he underwent a surgery to remove one of the lymphedemas masses on his right side and complications began to emerge.
The surgery meant that his weight dropped to 502 pounds but the constant, unbearable pain he was experiencing got him hooked on painkillers and pain medication. Without them, he was no longer able to function normally.
Realizing the problem at hand, Nowzaradan began slowly weaning him off the meds but to little effect; Buchel had already developed an addiction. He no longer moved about, stopped walking, and in a desperate attempt to reach the meds, tore his stitches.
While he was still alive, his fiancé said she was taken aback by the sudden change in demeanor from Buchel, who was markedly crankier and irritable. Commenting on it then, she said: "It's like a flip has been switched. He's been nasty since the surgery because he can't get the drugs."
He was sent back to the rehab facility in an attempt to get him up and walking once again but he still refused to budge. It was only a week later that he suffered his heart attack and passed away, with the death receiving little attention until it was revealed that the episode would be airing this week.
A visibly distraught Kathryn said: "He told me: 'I don't think I'll make it through the night. I love you and I always will,'" adding that she had lost her best friend and the person she was supposed to spend the rest of her life with.
The couple was set to tie the knot next year, with Buchel's mother meeting Nowzaradan following her son's death. The doctor offered his condolences, commending Buchel's efforts to lose weight and that despite battling addiction, he had never given up.
A substitute teacher at Manchester Township, New Jersey, and a tutor for The Princeton Review, Kathryn took to Facebook to express her grief two days after Buchel's death. She shared an old picture of the two together and confirmed of his passing.
She wrote: "I don't know how to start what is going to be the most painful facebook post I will ever write. I know this is late and I would like to apologize to everyone that I haven't been able to reach out to all of you before it was released to facebook. On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, the love of my life, my best friend, my closest confidant, Robert Buchel passed away suddenly."
"I wish I could say that my heart was broken or even shattered, but in reality, it is just gone. 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. He did not deserve to go this way and this was not his time."
"14 years together is not enough and although many people say it's better to love the time you have than to mourn the time you don't: no offense but screw you. Rob had a hard life and in the last 2 months, he finally had hope for the life he always wanted. This was a robbery beyond words. And thanks to those of you who have reached out to me, I realize now that this robbery is more despicable than I thought. "
A GoFundMe page was set up by the couple's friend in a bid to raise money for moving expenses, hospital bills, and Buchel's memorial service (which has already taken place). It was written that Kathryn incurred crushing debt after leaving family, friends, and jobs behind in order to move to another state to help her fiancé overcome a lifelong health struggle.
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