'My 600-Lb Life' Fans Mourn the Death of Robert Buchel

Fans of My 600-Lb Life are mourning the loss of cast member Robert Buchel, who died of a heart attack in November after losing almost 400 pounds. He was 41.

Viewers were saddened when they reached the end of Buchel's episode, which aired for the first time Wednesday night, to learn that he died after having a heart attack.

Many took to Twitter to express their condolences to Buchel and his family. His mother and fiancée, Kathryn Lemanski, both appeared in his episode.

"Wow what an awful sad heart breaking end to Roberts story/life/legacy!!!! I'm in tears and my heart aches for Kathryn!!! Hang in there Katheryn, you were a blessing to him," one fan said.

"This was one of the saddest episodes I've ever seen. So sad! He was trying and I felt so sorry for his girlfriend," one viewer wrote.

"This is extremely sad. No matter what the weight, it is hard to lose the one you love so much. I know," someone wrote.

"Unbelievably sad my condolences to friends and family. Rest in peace," another said.

Other viewers wrote that they were so surprised by his death because no other episode of the reality show, which follows obese patients going through significant weight loss, had ended with a patient dying.

"I’ve never watched an episode of my 600 pound life where the person dies. I am so upset," one shocked viewer wrote.

"This is the first time I’ve seen an episode of 600 pound life where the person actually died," someone added.

"I think this is the first episode on #600lblife someone has died," someone else said.

Others used gifs to express their grief.

"I’ve been watching this episode of My 600 Pound Life for 2 hours and the patient was doing so well with losing weight but sadly he didn’t make it," someone said.

With a starting weight of 842 pounds, Buchel had successfully dropped to 502 pounds after dieting and undergoing surgery to remove one of the lymphedema masses on the right side of his body.

Buchel and Lemanski moved from New Jersey to Houston to work with Dr. Younan Nowzaradan. After the surgery, Buchel admitted to having a pain killer addiction. He even ripped his stitches to get more pills, and he reportedly refused to walk or exercise. He soon died after suffering a heart attack.

In a statement, TLC said it was “deeply saddened” by his loss.

The network added: “We are grateful to his family who were gracious enough to let us continue to share his brave story with our viewers. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.”

"I can't believe I lost him," Lemanski said on Wednesday's episode. "He said, 'I don't think I'm going to make it through tonight.' I said, 'You'll be fine.' He said, 'Just in case, understand I love you and always have. We laid down and he went to bed. He said he felt like he was having trouble breathing."

Lemanski wrote on Facebook that Buchel struggled knowing that his life wasn't going the way he had hoped.

“Rob suffered from never realizing how good a man he was and always felt inadequate and a failure,” she wrote two days after his death in November. “Thank you to all of you for validating my love for him. I knew what kind of soul he had but could never convince him of how truly special he was. A person like him should never have to die this way and certainly not this young and most definitely not when his life was about to begin.”

She added that he was becoming optimistic in his future after losing weight in the hospital.

“Rob had a hard life, and in the last two months he finally had hope for the life he always wanted,” she said.


A friend of Lemanski’s created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Buchel’s medical bills and funeral costs, and to help her move back to New Jersey.

“Kathryn incurred a crushing debt, between medical bills and moving expenses, only to have to pack up, turn around and move back,” the GoFundMe description reads. “Kathryn is one of the most selfless and giving individuals one could ever meet, she is well deserving of any help that can be offered.”