Patrick Deuel, known as the “Half-Ton Man” who lost more than half his weight after a life-saving gastric by-pass surgery in 2005, is almost immobile again. He cites depression from being away from his wife as the main cause of his recent weight gain.
Patrick Deuel, 47, has struggled with weight issues all his life, but by the time Discovery Health featured him in a documentary special in 2005 he was tipping the scales at 1,072 lbs. Living in Valentine, Nebraska at the time, he had not left his room in seven months, or left the house in seven years. His wife Edie claims that she fed Patrick his favorite foods because he loved him, and that she hadn’t “realized how bad it had gotten.” In the documentary Patrick tells the camera that he if something he wants is denied, he’ll “rip you to shreds.” This type of demand for and constant supply of food caused Patrick to balloon to the startling weight that threatened his life.
In 2005, when the documentary was filmed, Patrick’s health was deteriorating at an alarming speed. He couldn’t so much as move himself, his heart was failing, and his eyes had a dark, sunken look. He was in extreme peril and was forced to lay on his stomach to prevent his organs from being crushed. His skin was oozing pus from unhealed sores, and the stress his body was under meant death was imminent.
The Discovery Health documentary, which reached over 5 million viewers, chronicled the drastic measures needed to get Deuel out of his house. His bedroom wall was knocked down, and a special ambulance was needed to transport him to Avera McKennan Hospital in South Dakota where he received the gastric bypass surgery. After the surgery Deuel shed half of his weight, though he didn’t completely stick to the diet as planned. His wife still fed him the fatty, sugary, and salty foods he craved, though presumably less of them, while he stayed in a obesity recovery clinic for a year.
Success and setbacks
After returning home Deuel continued losing weight, but after hitting a low weight of 370 lbs, he started gaining again. Never one to stick to doctor’s orders, he refused to quit smoking or to cut out unhealthy foods altogether. By 2007 he was already back at 560 lbs, but still grateful to be able to get around and move despite having diabetes and congestive heart failure. Throughout his ordeal Deuel has insisted that genetics is to blame for his enormous weight struggles, while snacking on cheese cubes and chips and lunching on buckets of KFC.
Patrick has now gained back most of his weight, and is in danger of becoming immobile again. He says his most recent setback is due to depression from being away from his wife, Edie, who had to movie away for work due to the credit crunch.
Last month Deuel was reunited with Edie, and they moved into a new home. He says that Edie’s presence motivates him to eat right and start losing weight again, but he hasn’t started his new habits yet. He has plans to start eating right and exercising when they get settled in their new home. For Deuel, of course, “eating right” and “exercising” has a different meaning than most: it doesn’t mean incorporating healthy fruits and veggies and cutting out saturated fats, just eating less fried chicken and pizza.
Below is a photo gallery of Patrick now, and in the past, including pictures as a baby, young adult, and at his heaviest weight.