My 600-Lb Life Stars Who Unfortunately Died

Which cast members from TLC's "My 600-lb Life" have died? While the show is equal parts inspiring and upsetting, "My 600-lb Life" follows people who have crossed far past morbid obesity into the realm of life-threateningly overweight — and their journey to get healthier. The hit reality show features now-famous Houston doctor Younan Nowzaradan, AKA Dr. Now, whose stringent low-carb, high-protein diet gets contestants prepared for potential bariatric surgery.

While "My 600-lb Life" has featured some dramatic transformations, and changed many lives for the better, some contestants haven't fared as well — or even come out alive. While dropping hundreds of pounds during filming "My 600-lb Life" isn't at all abnormal, the health risks of weighing 600, 700, or even 900 pounds are sometimes too much to overcome. And over the course of the show's nine seasons, a number of cast members have sadly died. Here's a look at the people who've appeared on "My 600-lb Life," what they accomplished, and what ultimately led to their deaths.

Henry Foots' cause of death isn't public

Henry Foots actually died once before he was pronounced dead on May 16, 2013 (via the Houston Chronicle). The Season 1 fan favorite of "My 600-lb Life" had a pretty successful experience on the show, dropping from nearly 750 pounds all the way down to about 275, according to Starcasm. The affable Texas native was aiming to lose weight for his high school reunion and did a commendable job. 

As a result of the weight loss, Henry underwent skin removal surgery to shed some of his leftover skin. During the second surgery, his heart stopped on the operating table, with Henry telling TLC, "There was the light to take me to heaven [but] I wasn't ready for it."

In 2012, Henry was behind the wheel of a shuttle bus when he lost control and sadly killed a woman standing on the street. The accident subsequently led some on the internet to speculate that Henry had died in the crash. This wasn't the case, however, and Henry lived for another year before he died in May 2013. His cause of death hasn't been made public.

Sean Milliken died due to complications

Cameron Park, California's Sean Milliken was one of the biggest stars ever of "My 600-lb Life," tipping the scales at over 900 pounds at his heaviest, according to the Daily Mail. During his time on the show, Sean sought help because he knew he wouldn't live to see 30 at his current weight, and couldn't stand up for more than half a minute. The star left bed for the first time in years to travel to Houston, seeking potentially life-saving surgery with Dr. Now.

Sean's confinement to bed stemmed from a leg injury he suffered during high school. But his overeating began because of his strained relationship with his father. Sadly, Sean's mother died in 2017 due to complications from kidney issues. His father was the one who broke the news of Sean's death to the world via a Facebook post, according to Daily Mail. He said his son had died due to complications from an infection, adding that his son had been a good man with a good heart.

James King ultimately died of kidney failure

When James King appeared on "My 600-lb Life" during Season 5, he was the heaviest cast member in history at an astonishing 791 pounds, according to The Sun. By the time the program's "My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?" spinoff aired, he'd shot up to 840 pounds. James got so heavy that Dr. Now even called Adult Protective Services on James' wife, assuming she was illicitly feeding her husband while he was in the hospital trying to lose weight ahead of surgery. James was summarily let go from Dr. Now's program.

James was never in fantastic health, ending up in intensive care in 2017 for cirrhosis, kidney failure, and sepsis; according to The Sun, this led to premature rumors of his death. By 2020, James' health had worsened, and after an extended stay in the hospital, he ultimately died of kidney failure. One source told The Sun that James went into septic shock and died weighing about 500 pounds. "He would have been proud of himself," the unnamed insider told the tabloid. James' funeral was kept private as his death occurred during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Robert Buchel died of a heart attack

New Jersey native Robert Buchel became the first person to die while filming his episode of "My 600-lb Life" when he passed away of a heart attack on November 15, 2017, according to Starcasm. He'd joined Dr. Now's program in hopes of losing weight ahead of his upcoming wedding, and made pretty good progress at first. Robert's weight peaked at 842 pounds, but he shed 124 of them during his first month on the program. He lost 98 more pounds at a rehab center, then another 78 before he had surgery to remove a lymphedema mass that made losing weight harder.

But after the surgery, things got dark for Robert. Though he'd lost 340 pounds and was down to a manageable 502, Robert had also developed an addiction to pain medication. The addiction was so strong at one point, Starcasm reported, he tore some of his surgical stitches trying to get more painkillers. Robert went back to rehab but reportedly wouldn't exercise at all without pain medication. Ultimately, he suffered a heart attack and died. Dr. Now commented in memoriam, "Robert battled an addiction and lost but he never gave up."

James Bonner died by suicide

While some of the stars of "My 600-lb Life" who've sadly died did so due to health complications brought on by their weight, James "L.B." Bonner's story is far darker. He had a relatively successful experience on "My 600-lb Life," going from 642 pounds at the show's beginning to a noteworthy 324 pounds, according to TMZ. And his weight loss continued even after the cameras stopped rolling.

But losing weight didn't quiet whatever "demons" haunted him, and in the summer of 2018, he penned a foreboding Facebook post, saying, "I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shown me love and support throughout my journey... I've realized a few things over the last few days and it's time that I face my demons head on." Later that week, L.B. was found dead in a park in his hometown of Lexington, South Carolina, the victim of a gunshot wound to the head. Shortly after, local police ruled the death a suicide. He was only 30.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Lisa Fleming died of poor health

One of the more shocking cast members to ever appear on "My 600-lb Life" was then 49-year-old Lisa Fleming. The Mobile, Alabama native revealed during the show she'd turned to eating as a child to deal with her parents' divorce; she later developed an even unhealthier relationship with food when her mother used eating to punish her. According to The Cinemaholic, one particularly disturbing incident involved Lisa's mother forcing her to eat an entire cake by herself after she'd tasted some without permission.

Lisa also told a story of finding maggots in the folds of her skin after she topped out at over 700 pounds. That stomach-turning episode led her to seek help, which she found with Dr. Now and "My 600-lb Life." While on the program, Lisa was confined to bed, and needed seven paramedics to get her out, according to TMZ. And though Lisa's daughter told TMZ that she had been ill before the show, Lisa managed to lose 200 pounds after filming wrapped. Still, Lisa's poor health ultimately got the better of her, and in late August 2018 she died, the second cast member to die that month after James Bonner.

Kelly Mason had a heart attack in her sleep

One of the most heartbreaking patients ever to appear on "My 600-lb Life" was Kelly Mason. The North Carolinian came to Dr. Now weighing in at over 700 pounds, suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, thyroid issues, a pulmonary embolism, and a blood clot in her leg. Oh, and she'd also just been in the hospital for congestive heart failure, according to Distractify. As Dr. Now so bluntly put it, "Every day is a question of whether you'll survive or not."

But Kelly worked hard. After Dr. Now sent her to a hospital, she dropped 100 pounds. She lost another 220 while prepping for weight loss surgery, and ultimately lost 324 pounds while awaiting surgery. "It feels like the first day of a new life, actually," she said when leaving the hospital. Unfortunately, in one of the saddest moments in the show's history, audiences saw Dr. Now take a call from the Houston coroner telling him Kelly died of cardiac arrest in her sleep. She was the second cast member to pass away during filming.

Coliesa McMillan died following a battle with sepsis

The most recent cast member of "My 600-lb Life" to pass away was Coliesa McMillan, a Season 8 star who dropped 150 pounds during her time on the show, according to The Cinemaholic. While an impressive feat, Dr. Now still didn't feel Coliesa had lost enough weight to qualify for weight loss surgery. But she complained of chronic stomach pain, and Dr. Now feared she might have a blockage in her intestines that would prove fatal. Coliesa's weight made it impossible to determine what was causing the pain, so Dr. Now did the weight loss surgery despite his gut feeling.

Soon after the surgery, Coliesa began experiencing more issues. According to Starcasm, Coliesa's niece reported that a suture from her aunt's gastric sleeve popped, causing severe sepsis. Coliesa was then on a ventilator for two and a half weeks, before being put into a medically induced coma and placed on life support. Though she survived, it wasn't for long, as she ultimately died in September 2020 (via TMZ).

Destinee LaShaee's cause of death is unknown

For Destinee LaShaee, weight loss was just one of the important transformations they bravely underwent in their short life. Assigned male at birth, LaShaee was the first person identifying as transgender to appear on "My 600-lb Life." Their February 8, 2022 death at age 30 was confirmed by their brother, Wayne Compton (via Facebook). No cause of death was given but Compton's Facebook elegy, which includes the words, "I'm sorry you felt you had no other option," suggests that LaShaee may have died by suicide. 

LaShaee, who had endured several tragedies over the course of their life, including the deaths of a brother and a sister, had been open with the public about their mental health issues, most notably, depression. During filming of "My 600-lb Life," they were quoted as saying "food is the only thing I can turn to" in coping therewith. Four days before their death, they posted on Facebook about their ongoing sadness. 

Ironically, just days earlier, on January 24, 2022, LaShaee was celebrating their dramatic weight loss on Instagram. According to People, LaShaee weighed nearly 700 pounds when they began their weight loss journey, depicted in Season 7 of the TLC show in 2019. Over the course of the next three years, they lost more than 500 pounds.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Gina Krasley struggled with her health

Gina Krasley weighed 607 pounds at the start of her work with Dr. Now and needed to get down to the low 500s before she could have the weight loss surgery she wanted. Although Krasley eventually lost in the vicinity of 300 pounds, it didn't happen during her tenure on the show. Per Starcasm, Krasley's apparent struggles with overeating made for dramatic tv. However, according to a lawsuit filed by Krasley against the show's producers in 2020 for "negligence and intentional affliction of emotional distress," the reality was not as it was portrayed on the show. Krasley claimed her efforts at losing weight were systematically undermined by demands that she overeats (via E! News).

Only in the aftermath of production was Krasley able to move the scale significantly — ultimately down nearly 300 pounds, as she revealed in a YouTube video from March 2021. Unfortunately, her health seemed only to decline in the months that followed as she documented her struggles with pain and difficulty walking. Krasley died on August 1, 2021, at the age of 30, surrounded by loved ones, at her home in Tuckerton, New Jersey, according to her obituary. A cause of death was not offered and remains unknown to the public.

An infection led Ashley Randall to get sepsis

Texas native, Ashley Randall, was 24 when she began documenting her weight loss journey in 2004, which was featured in the first season of "My 600-lb Life" in 2012. One of the younger members of the show, Randall inspired empathy from viewers who felt that some members of her family — most notably, her mother — failed to emotionally support her throughout her weight loss journey as well as throughout her childhood (via Reddit). 

Randall, who weighed 617 pounds at the start of her arc, got down to 253 by the end of her time on the show with the help of weight loss surgery. With some additional effort post-production, she ultimately got down to 216. Unfortunately, Randall's weight loss efforts began stalling in the wake of her father's death in 2011. "I wanted to keep losing that weight because my dad would have wanted me to," Randall said in 2016 (via the Daily Mail), by which she had regained about 100 of the pounds she'd lost.

Enlisting Dr. Now's help once again, Randall lost some of the weight — this time with her mother's support. Her goal weight was to be below 200 pounds but it's unknown if she ever reached this by the time of her death on October 2, 2021. Apparently, Randall died of sepsis, which arose out of an infection.

Renee Biran's cause of death is not known

Renee Biran, an alum of Season 6 of "My 600-lb Life" in 2018, died on May 14, 2021, according to her obituary. Her life was relatively brief, but it would appear that she did quite a lot of living during her time on Earth. 

The mother of six and grandmother to 28 was a tenure on the inspirational TLC program. Biran also did plus-size modeling and spent time as an adult entertainer on the niche online platform, "Massive Mocha" (via The Cinemaholic). Sadly, it was during her time as a "Massive Mocha" entertainer that Biran's weight began veering dangerously upward.

By the time her weight loss journey began on the show, Biran weighed 631 pounds. After losing a significant amount of weight through dieting, she underwent gastric bypass surgery, ultimately getting down to 381 pounds. Her plans to continue pursuing better health, including excess skin resection surgery, were unfortunately derailed in 2019 when she was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition, Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Although this was around the time that she stopped posting to social media, it isn't named as her cause of death, which appears unknown to the public at this time.