The preview trailer and premiere episode for My Big Fat Fabulous Life Season 10 reveal that Whitney Way Thore’s mom, Barbara “Babs” Thore, suffered a very serious stroke, and her prognosis after the fact was not good. However, we can share some very positive news in that Babs is still with us and still sharing her Babsolutely fabulousness with the world!
Babs made several brief appearance on Whitney’s social media account this year, but Whitney definitively dispelled any rumors of her mother’s passing with a post celebrating Babs’ 76th birthday on June 22.
“👑 QUEEN BABS 👑 turned 76 today!” Whitney began the caption for the photo (included above), which featured Whitney and Babs together — the latter wearing a brightly colored floral shirt and a “Happy Birthday” tiara.
“People were guessing that she was 60,” Whitney continued, adding a crying emoji. “Every day I pray to have my mother’s wit, grace, strength, and genetics. How lucky am I to have been given this woman as my mother AND I get to share her with the world? She is my greatest treasure and my best friend. She says she loves y’all and we’ll see you for season 10 on August 9 at 10/9c!”
The background of the photo doesn’t appear to be a residence, so it is assumed that Babs is still residing in a facility that is able to provide around-the-clock medical and rehabilitation assistance.
In an Instagram Reels post earlier today, Whitney shared a video clip typing “Love you, Daddy! ❤️” on Glenn’s post promoting the premiere of the new season of My Big Fat Fabulous Life. Whitney added this message in the caption:
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to support our family. I know I’ve been more quiet than usual on social media for the last six months. We’ve all been focusing on helping my mother recover as much as possible. She lights up every time a fan approaches her and she smiled so big when I told her Season 10 was premiering tonight.
Seriously, thank y’all for loving my mother. She is my greatest gift and I love being able to share her with you. If you want to drop an encouraging word or a compliment or memory, I’ll read them to her.
We love how much you love her. We are so proud of her!
The Thore Family
UPDATE – Whitney just shared a photo in bed with her mom!
Babs Thore Stroke Details
The My Big Fat Fabulous Life Season 10 Premiere is focused almost exclusively on Babs’ stroke and the aftermath. Whitney, her dad Glenn, and her brother Hunter open the episode talking about what happened.
Hunter went to get lunch and was gone just 45-50 minutes. When he got back, he found his mom on the couch and she was unable to talk. “When I first came in, I thought that she might have passed away — this was what I thought.” Hunter called 911 and an ambulance took Babs to the hospital.
Whitney remembers that she got a call from her dad letting her know that her mom was in the emergency room after suffering a stroke. Glenn told Whitney that Babs was unable to talk or move.
The immediate aftermath of dealing with 75-year-old Babs’ stroke was made even worse when she later tested positive for COVID. Glenn and Hunter also tested positive for COVID, so they had to quarantine and were unable to visit Babs. Throughout the remainder of the Premiere, Whitney is the only immediate family member able to see Babs in person — which added to the overwhelming toll on Whitney.
Whitney On Filming Babs For The Show
Whitney broke down the fourth wall in a confessional addressing her decision to film her mother’s health issues for My Big Fat Fabulous Life:
When your mother is laying in there in a hospital bed and you don’t know how long she’s gonna be on this planet any more, nothing else matters.
In a way, like, all of this feels really trivial, you know? To get my hair done and my makeup done to sit here and talk about my mom when I just want to be with her. So, it’s just a weird thing to go through.
But, there’s a difference between letting everybody see me in every kind of way, in every vulnerable state, and every awful thing. And it’s another thing for my mom, who she can’t consent to it.
And so, I don’t know how much of this journey I’m going to be able to share because I want people to be able to encourage her and send her love and everything, like I know people would want to. But at the same time, that’s my mom. And I have to protect her.
Babs’ Stroke Recovery
The Premiere documents the first nine days after Babs’ stroke, during which time things just got progressively worse.
Whitney talks with her friend Tal early on about what she was told while Babs was in the ICU. Essentially, doctors were hopeful Babs would get well enough to leave the ICU, then enter the hospital’s rehab program. If that went well, then hopefully Babs would be able to return home.
Eight days after the stroke, Whitney shared an update. “My mom has continued to withdraw over the last couple days. And my mom does have a UTI, which I know that UTIs can be devastating for older people. And I have to wonder if her decline over the past few days is not related to this infection.”
A very emotional Whitney opened up more with her friend Ashley, revealing that the doctor had called her and let her know that Babs no longer qualified for rehab. “They had to put a feeding tube in her and stuff, and basically he was, like, ‘You know, you need to decide with your family, like, if you want to keep her feeding tube in.’ And I was, like, ‘Well, what does that mean? You would just take it out and she would starve?’ And he said, ‘Essentially.'”
On the ninth day, Whitney was informed by the doctor that he “didn’t see any progress” and “the more days that go by with no progress, the less progress there’s going to be.”
Whitney is crying in her car outside the hospital and in her confessional. “I’m going to call my dad and tell him that they don’t think she’s going to get any better, that this is really it. And I just can’t — I can’t stand that I have to call my dad to tell him this.”
When Whitney talks to Glenn, he is amazingly level headed and calm as he keeps things positive and recommends that they speak with their nurse advocate and figure out what to do.
Whitney has a very emotional scene in the hospital parking lot, and eventually a crew member named Jacob drives Whitney home. “My biggest priority is my mother. Period. And always will be,” Whitney says in her confessional at the end of the Premiere. “And I’m not giving up on her yet.”
Babs Stroke Recovery Photos
In the previews for the rest of the season, viewers finally get some positive news about Babs. “I started playing her favorite music and I saw her little arm raise up,” Whitney recalls as we see Babs exercising her hand.
“The doctors told us she wasn’t going to make it,” Hunter says, “and here she is making it.”
Viewers receive even more positivity from Glenn in a preview scene. “The other day she took 50 steps,” he says. We then see Babs walking with assistance from a man and cane. Here are a couple of screen caps of Babs’ stroke recovery from the end-of-episode preview:
To continue to follow along with Bab’s recovery, be sure to tune in to new episodes of My Big Fat Fabulous Life airing Tuesday nights at 10/9c on TLC — or streaming early on Discovery+.