What We Know About My 600-Lb Life Star Robert Buchel's Death

TLC's "My 600-Lb Life" follows the lives of morbidly obese people as they embark on incredible weight-loss journeys in a bid to turn their life around. Sadly, not every story featured on the hit reality series has a happy ending, including that of Robert Buchel, who tragically died in 2017


According to Starcasm, an 840 pound Robert got off to a flying start during the first month of filming "My 600-Lb Life," managing to shed 124 pounds. Following surgery to remove one of his lymphedema masses — a surgical treatment that aims to remove excess fat (via Northwell Health) — Robert had dropped to 502 pounds. Five months later, it was revealed Buchel had managed to lose a massive 340 pounds in total. 

Unfortunately, following what was otherwise a successful surgery, he later became addicted to pain pills. As The Daily Mail reported, the show's resident surgeon, Dr. Nowzaradan, attempted to wean him off the pain medication, which wound up derailing Robert's progress as he refused to exercise or even get out of bed.


How did Robert Buchel die?

According to In Touch Weekly, Robert Buchel sadly passed away of a massive heart attack at the age of 41 on November 15, 2017. 

Speaking in Buchel's "My 600-Lb Life" episode — which eventually aired on TLC in February 2018 — Robert's fiancé, Kathryn Lemanski, opened up about his tragic death. "I lost my best friend and the person I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with." She continued, "He told me, 'I don't think I'll make it through the night. I love you and I always will.'" Per Starcasm, Dr. Nowzaran also commented, "Robert battled an addiction and lost but he never gave up."


During an interview with App, Kathryn later discussed how she was coping in the wake of her fiancé's death, revealing that she had been harassed by fans of the show whilst in mourning. "I'm surviving most of the time, that's what it comes down to, in all honesty.. I have had not an easy year. It was hard enough, but people saw an edited version of the show due to time constraints that omitted a lot of things that were going on outside of that."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).