he TLC show, My 600 lb Life features the stories of morbidly-obese men and women who attempt to lose weight. They are followed around for a year; their struggles with weight loss seen through their eyes and the eyes of those who enable or love them. One man featured on the show died of a heart attack. The episode featuring Robert Buchel was scheduled to air this past week.
Robert Buchel, 41, from Forked River New Jersey died after being on a weight loss plan for five months. He lost a total of 340 lbs. It was reported that he lost 125 lbs in his first month. Things weren’t so pleasant for Robert and his fiancée though.
The National Post reported his fiancée said he became cranky after his surgery: “It’s like a flip has been switched. He’s been nasty since the surgery because he can’t get the drugs.”
According to the Daily Mail, Robert was sent back to the rehab facility. Staff tried getting him to walk again, but he refused. He had the heart attack a week later and died. Robert’s death drew little attention until people realized his episode was supposed to air last week.
Robert had once done well. He dropped a significant amount of weight. He was transferred to another rehab facility where he did walk. After losing 295 lbs, he had surgery to remove a lymphedema mass from his right side.
His fiancee, Kathryn posted a photo of the two on Facebook along with this post where she confirmed his passing: “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.”
A goFundMe page was created by a friend to help with expenses, medical bills, and costs for his memorial service. Kathryn had gotten herself into a lot of debt after leaving her friends, family, and job to help Robert on his health journey.
She continued in her post: “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.”
Addictions of any sort are hard to overcome. In the end, you never beat them. They’ll always be part of your life. You have to learn to live and cope with them, mostly having to co-exist with the demons that plague you to give in. How heartbreaking for Kathryn and for Robert and those who love them.