February 07, 2006

The Half-Ton Man - Update

A little while ago, I wrote in passing about Patrick Deuel. He had been given the nickname half-ton man because when emergency workers found him trapped under his own weight in his home in South Dakota, he weighed over 1000 pounds. He had been bed ridden for year.

I learned about Patrick Deuel in a special program on obesity on the Discovery Health channel. The program picked up his story at his rescue and followed him through his first big initial weight loss.

When his ambulance got him to the hospital, doctors found his heart was starting to fail due to his great weight and came up with a plan to help him lose a lot of weigh fast. They had to wait to give him gastric bypass surgery because even though he was so heavy he was malnourished and not healthy enough to undergo the strain of the procedure. So instead they put him on a restricted diet and exercise plan. He lost over 500 pounds before they deemed him healthy enough to undergo the surgery. When they were operating on him they found a hernia the size of a watermelon. His health problems were numerous.

Anyway, the surgery was a success and as of January 2006, he weighs 471 pounds, less than half of what he weighed before being brought to the hospital in Sioux Falls.

Well. . . it's been hard finding updates on Patrick Deuel. One article I found is no longer posted, another I found isn't linkable because you need to subscription to the newspaper's website. But, I did find a good and thorough write up at CalorieLab Calorie Counter News .

Here I learned that Mr. Deuel had been scheduled for surgery as recently as January 26, 2006 to have 100 pounds of excess skin removed - something CalorieLab called his pannus, an apron of flesh that hangs down to one's knees. Turns out he wasn't able to have the surgery because he had a cold and his surgeons didn't want to take a chance that he wasn't healthy enough.

Whether or not he's had the surgery - I'm not sure. That is the most recent update I could find.

If you are interesting in watching the half-ton man, the Discovery Health Channel is re-running the original special on February 26.

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