The tragic death of a 43-year-old morbidly obese Ohio man and his unusual circumstance has the media speaking out.
The unnamed man didn’t move from his recliner for two years and when his girlfriend and other roommate found him unconscious, they called authorities to help transport him to the hospital, where he later died. Police had to cut him out of his chair and cut a hole in his house just to get him out. (Video from WTRF)
“They said the man was welded to his chair with urine and feces, that he hadn’t left his chair in two years, that maggots were visible, that one police officer had to throw away his uniform after helping cut the man out of his chair.”
The blogosphere responded with outrage over what is widely seen as an unnecessary death. A Fox News blogger wonders why the man’s two able-bodied housemates didn’t step in.
“When it comes down to it, the people he depended on failed to give him the help that he clearly needed. And that, to me, is the saddest part of the story.”
And blogger for The Stir points a finger at the man’s girlfriend.
“[She] used to feed him his food since he never got up. That’s very kind of you, girlfriend, but how do you let it get to that point? How do you let someone you love get so over-the-top unhealthy and do nothing about it?”
But landlady, Lou Ann Bennett, says the deceased man’s girlfriend had no control in their relationship. Bellaire’s WTRF continuing coverage reports, Bennett tried to help.
“… [S]he once offered to call the authorities about him and his obvious problem with inertia. She says his girlfriend wouldn’t hear of it. ‘She begged me not to. She said please, Lou Ann, don’t do it because if you do, [explicit] Rich is gonna take it out on me.’”
One friend tells Steubenville’s WTOV, help was offered — but the man refused to leave his chair because of arthritic knees.
“… I tried to suggest him going to the hospital and getting his legs checked out, but he wouldn’t do it. He said he didn’t like doctors. So you can’t force somebody to do something that they don’t want to do.”
The man’s roommates and landlord have cleaned the home per requirements by the local police department, but reports indicate no charges have been filed in his death. His body will be cremated at a local funeral home.