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Who is Dana Rosser? Woman who married 460-lbs surgeon always feared he'd die in his sleep

'People called me a gold digger because in their mind, there’s no way someone could find a 460-pound man attractive,' revealed Dana
Dana Rosser revealed the problems she faced with her husband (FacingObesity, Facebook)
Dana Rosser revealed the problems she faced with her husband (FacingObesity, Facebook)

When author and speaker Dana Rosser met her husband Dr James Rosser, the latter weighed 460 pounds. Dana, 57, opened up about how his weight took a toll on their relationship and she constantly feared he was going to die because of his obesity. She also revealed the angst, anxiety and trials she faced.

Dana married laparoscopic surgeon Dr James "Butch" Rosser in 1995. "People called me a gold digger because in their mind, there's no way someone could find a 460-pound man attractive. He's a world-renowned surgeon so people thought I was with him because of the fame and fortune. That really hurt my feelings," Dana told Today.


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"When I met Butch, I saw his weight, of course. How could you not? But I looked at so many other things — his intelligence and his smile. We had the same Christian values and we laughed a lot. So I looked at his character and that’s what I fell in love with," Dana said.

"I was concerned for his health. He couldn't walk really long distances — he would sweat and his knees would hurt. He couldn't play outside with our girls when they were little. He dealt with sleep apnea — at night, he snored very loudly and would stop breathing. I had a fear of him dying in his sleep, so I would nudge him to make sure he was OK. I couldn't really get a good night’s rest because I was always checking to make sure he was alive," she continued.

Dana Rosser (R) with husband James Rosser (L) pre-surgery (MediflixTV)

"When the phone rang, I'd get really nervous because I would think somebody is calling me to tell me he had a heart attack or stroke. I lived with a constant gnawing fear in the back of my head that something was going to happen to him. It caused me great angst and anxiety," explained Dana.

She further added, "I was in love with him, but I just didn't know what to do with all these different feelings, like embarrassment and anger. I saw him mistreated and I would live with that all day. That would just hurt my soul. My spirit was being chipped away by seeing how other people treated my husband. It makes me cry now — it was so awful."

Dana Rosser (R) with James Rosser (L) post-surgery (Facebook)

Talking about certain instances Dana said, "If we walked into a restaurant, people would look at us, snicker or laugh. One time we were getting on an elevator and people intentionally got off because I guess they were thinking the elevator would malfunction. I can't believe how insensitive people are. I wouldn't say anything, but I would give them the meanest look. They dehumanize someone who's dealing with obesity. Obesity is a disease and I don't think people realize that."

About the conflict she went through, Dana revealed, "Home was a safe place for him, so I stayed at home with him even though I didn't want to. If I did go out with friends, I felt guilty. And when I was at home with Butch, I felt lonely because I wasn't living my best life. I was becoming reclusive like him. I was losing who I was. I didn't tell him how it was affecting me because I didn't want to add to everything that the world was already throwing at him."

Dana Rosser all smiles with James Rosser (Facebook)

After James' gastric bypass surgery in 2001, he lost about 160 pounds and was sleeping better. Not only was his mood better, but he also gained a lot more confidence. "I would tell other people supporting a loved one with severe obesity that you're not alone. There are millions of people in our predicament. Own your feelings — the good, bad and ugly. I had to come to grips that yes, I love my husband unconditionally, but there are times when I was embarrassed. That's hard to say, but you have to own your feelings," she concluded.

Dana is the founder of 'Facing Obesity' a website dedicated to educating people about obesity. She is also the author of 'Thru Thick and Thin: Facing Obesity Thru the Eyes of a Loved One' where she recounts her personal journey of supporting her husband and offers insight into a world most don't know exist. The couple's story has also been featured in the Mediflix documentary, 'More Than What We See'.


MediflixTV shared the teaser to the documentary with the caption, "Weight, it's like an obesity ninja; it creeps up on you insidiously. I looked up one day and I was 460 lbs.” Butch Rosser, MD Watch Now:… Gain insights into how your body responds to weight. #mediflix #NovoNordisk #sponsored #TruthAboutWeight"