Robert Buchel, who appeared on TLC’s My 600-lb Life, passed away on November 15, 2017, after suffering a heart attack at a hospital in Houston.
In a statement, TLC said, “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.”
Kathryn Lemanski, Buchel’s fiancee, recently revealed on Facebook that a GoFundMe has been created in Robert’s name to help the family with the debts incurred.
To date, the page has received $4,980 of its $6,000 goal.
Read on to learn more about Robert Buchel and his death.
1. He Died from a Heart Attack
Robert passed away in November 2017 from a heart attack. He was 41. In a Facebook post, Lemanski says that she was holding her fiancee’s hand when he passed.
At his heaviest, Robert weighed in at about 842 pounds. He also suffered from lymphedema, a swelling of the legs. In last Wednesday’s episode of the series, Lemanski admitted, “I hate that this is our life and that this is Rob’s life but nothing stops him from eating… Food is killing him and taking our future.”
Before his passing, Robert shared with TLC that his problems with compulsive eating began when he was very young; about six. Those issues were exacerbated when he was molested by a neighbor three years later. Then, when he was just 19, Robert lost his brother to a heart attack The subsequent sadness compelled him to consume even more food.
2. He Had Undergone Weight Loss Surgery Before Passing
Just before his death, Robert underwent surgery to remove a lymphedema mass on his right side.
According to Inside Edition, Robert grew depressed after the surgery.
With cameras rolling, Lemanski shared Buchel’s last words with her. “He told me, ‘I don’t think I’ll make it through the night. I love you and I always will.’ I lost my best friend and the person I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with.”
Kathryn has received an outpouring of love friends from friends and family on Facebook. In the comments section of her most recent Facebook post, Facebook users have asked her to clarify some aspects of her journey with Robert. Asked how long she and Robert were in Houston before his death, Kathryn said, “2 months.”
3. He Was Set to Marry His Fiancee Kathryn Next Year
Robert was set to wed Kathryn Lemanski next year at Disney World. Not long before his death, the couple moved together to Houston, Texas so he could be closely monitored by his doctor, Dr. Younan Nowzaradan.
On November 17, the day of Robert’s death, Kathryn took to Facebook to announce Robert’s passing.
A section of her post reads, “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.”
4. He Had Lost Hundreds of Pounds Before His Death
Robert was nearly 900 lb at his heaviest. After moving to Houston, he dropped to 718 pounds. Within another two months, he dropped another 217 pounds, according to the Daily Mail.
According to Lemanski’s Facebook post, Robert “finally had hope for the life he always wanted to,” in the two months before his death. “This was a robbery beyond words,” she writes. “Rob suffered from never realizing how good a man he was and always felt inadequate and a failure.”
5. He Was Plagued with an Addiction to Painkillers
Unfortunately, Robert was addicted to painkillers, which got in the way of his treatment and diet plan. On a recent episode, he admitted, “To carry all this weight is physically draining, mentally, emotionally taxing… It’s not a pain or life I’d wish on anyone because I can’t do anything. I can’t do anything for anyone — especially myself so I am completely dependent on my fiancee.”
According to Men’s Health, he even ripped out his stitches in an attempt to get more pain medicine. On the show, Kathryn said, “It’s like a flip has been switched… He’s been nasty since the surgery because he can’t get the drugs.”
Asked by a Facebook user if Robert was ever given help for his addiction or medicatoin counseling, Kathryn wrote, “He was going to see a therapist the day he died.”
Click here to access Robert’s Go Fund Me page.