900-lb. Man Rescued in House

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

A visiting nurse who was checking on a 33-year-old man in a house near the intersection of Eureka and Eighth made the call that her patient needed medical attention.

She called social services, who called the fire department in Lansing.

The technical rescue team came out to assist in getting the man out. Police Chief Tom Cochran says he weighs nearly a thousand pounds. He hadn't left his room on the second floor since 2003.

Crews built a platform and put it on a forklift. They cut a hole in the side of the house with chainsaws, and got the man onto the platform and lowered him to the ground. He was covered in a tarp to protect him from the dozens of people gathered to watch.

Crews put him on a flatbed, and drove it the three blocks to Sparrow Hospital. The rescue took about 3 hours.

Chief Cochran says the city's cots have a weight capacity of 700 lbs. He says even Sparrow's special ambulance was not wide enough. He admits weight is a pressing problem for rescue crews. "Cots are stronger," he says,"and patients seems to be getting heavier."

A woman who lived downstairs in the house where the man was rescued said his brother helped care for him. "He's a good person," Kathy Leslie said.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Starlene Location: Jonesville on Nov 9, 2007 at 10:34 AM
    Please, I would like to know where a person can get help with his weight. I have a 29 year old son who is over 500 pounds. The problem is there is other medical condition that have contributed to his weight problems. He can't hold a job becuase he is slow. And now that his weight is up there, employers say he don't qualify for the job, but deep down they don't want the health risk. He has applied for social security but he will be denied because he can still get around. He can't get any test done for his other medical reason because he has no medical insursance. Like I said he has other medical problems. I can't keep paying his rent. Times are tough. He has gone thru all the agentcy but he gets know help with his problem. He wants to work but being over weight, mentally slow, sleep disorder, and a puitary tumor where is he suppose to get help from.
  • by Jacki Location: East Lansing on Sep 20, 2007 at 09:59 AM
    I think these kind of stories are good for others to hear because there are so many people who are unaware that help is available to them.
  • by TJ Location: Pleasant Lake on Sep 20, 2007 at 09:57 AM
    The whole thing is very sad. I think this was in poor taste to report. Are HIPPA laws considered in such instances?
  • by Paul Location: Holt on Sep 20, 2007 at 09:53 AM
    There was nothing wrong with this story, it was handled with tact, and told the story. No different than a rescue of a kid in a well, or dog in a lake, etc. I would much rather hear this sort of story, then all the shootings, or the sex stories of kids on busses, etc. I think this is way un-normal of a situation (the 900Lb man) that it needed to be aired to show people how bad our nation's weight problem is. The man's identity was not shown, and there was nothing embarrassing to him for those that didn't know him. For those that knew him, they already knew of his situation, so how was it embarrasing to have it on the news? Bottom line is, things that are unusual will always make the news, that's reality. Why do so many people get bent out of shape for showing reality, the world has lots of unpleasant things, people should not distance themselves from facing reality situations, and think if they aren't on the news, that they don't happen.
  • by Deb Location: Lansing on Sep 20, 2007 at 09:44 AM
    The week he decided he wouldn't leave the house was a huge red glad and action should have been taken then by family, friends, neighbors, visiting social workers, that was most 4 years and probably 500 lbs. ago.
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Sep 20, 2007 at 03:43 AM
    Why wasn't his weight considered an issue when he reached 4-500 lbs. Can you say duck tape diet! How disguisting! It just goes to show how fat this nation really is!!
  • by Russ Location: Lansing on Sep 19, 2007 at 08:14 PM
    What's the most disgusting story about this is what would have happened had a real fire or armed robbery taken place while our fire and police were cutting a hole in a house to retrieve a person who can't stop eating and the family who enables it. I hope the city charges the family for this.
  • by val Location: Mi on Sep 19, 2007 at 07:42 PM
    I think it should be reported weight slips upon you , this helps people to be aware and watch their weight I feel sorry for him but it did say he had a disease so people can maybe begin to work on a cure, I never heard of a this and It's unfortunate,
  • by Becky Location: Eaton Rapids on Sep 19, 2007 at 06:16 PM
    I really think this is a tragic story and that this station should be very disappointed in themselves to actually report this unfortunate event on this individual. Is this really news that everyone needs to know? It seems to me that it is more entertainment than news that I need. I mean was this necessary news? It looked like to me a circus act and it made me sick that a this station is making news out of such a tragic event for this man. Did you even think about this man's feelings and the fact he deserves the same dignity as everyone else. This is a very sick man who needs serious medical care with compassion and privacy. I think you should be very disgusted with yourselves, do you realize that this made national news? Was that necessary?
  • by Kelly Location: St. Johns on Sep 19, 2007 at 04:24 PM
    While the Lansing PD & FD appeared to handle this rescue compassionately and while protecting this man's privacy, your station did not. The story aired with all the taste of those gawking on the sidewalk.
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