Remembering Manuel Uribe, the 'World's Heaviest Man'

Jun 11, 2016, 16:32 IST | mid-day online correspondent
A look back at the life of Mexican Manuel "Meme" Uribe Garza, the man who suffered from morbid obesity to one of the greatest extents known in recorded history and was recognized as the heaviest man in the world by Guinness Book of Records in 2007...
Born on 11 June,  1965, Manuel Uribe lived in San Nicolás de los Garza, a suburb of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. He weighed 115 kg (254 lb) during his adolescence.
Manuel Uribe waving to photographers during his second wedding on October 26, 2008, in Monterrey, Mexico. Pic/AFP
Manuel Uribe waving to photographers during his second wedding on October 26, 2008, in Monterrey, Mexico. Pic/AFP
He settled in Dallas, Texas after immigrating there illegally with his first wife, who he wed in 1987. Manuel Uribe believed the sedentary nature of his work contributed significantly to his morbid obesity as he would go "from desk to car", thus not having any actual strenous physical exercise. He was employed as a technician fixing typewriters, electronic calculators and computers.
Unable to come to terms with his increasing weight, Manuel Uribe's wife asked him for a divoce, which put him in a deep depression as he was spending extensively on doctors, diets but was instead gaining more weight.
On his return to his homeland Mexico, Uribe, who had a peak weight of around 597 kg (1,316 lb), drew worldwide attention in January 2006, when he made an emotional plea on a Mexican television network that prompted both private and public assistance. He gained the aid of government appointed a group of doctors and certified nutritionists and even rejected offers for gastric bypass surgery in Italy and Spain.
Manuel Uribe caught the attention of Barry Sears, the creator of the Zone diet, who prescribed him a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates consisting of five meals in small portions that included egg-white omelets, salads, chicken, fish, fruits and spring greens. During this time, Uribe featured on The World's Heaviest Man, a 2007 television documentary about his bedridden life and attempts to overcome his obesity. After experiencing a dramatic weight loss by dropping a reported 230 kg (510 lb) by February 2008, Uribe set his sights on a second Guinness World Record: "The World's Greatest Loser of Weight," which presumably was never certified.
On 3 October 2008, he attempted to help fellow countryman José Luis Garza through dietary advice. Garza was critically obese and bedridden former chef at a bowling alley, who weighed 449 kg (990 lb) and was unable to get out of bed for four months. Uribe promised to help Garza get a wheel-equipped iron bed and even sent his girlfriend Claudia Solís to his home with kiwifruit, grapefruit, pears, and protein supplements. However, all of this was for nought as Garza breathed hislast five days later on 8 October.
Manuel Uribe announcing plans to launch the Manuel Uribe Foundation, an institution aiming to educate Mexican people about nutrition and obesity, but the organization was never legally constituted.
He married his Claudia Solís of four years on 26 October 2008. Uribe weighed in at 318 kg (701 lb) at this time and was transported to the civil wedding on his specially-reinforced four-poster bed, draped with cream and gold and adorned in bright sunflowers, on the back of a truck. Donning a white silk shirt with a sheet around his legs, he waited to greet Claudia as she walked down a flight of stairs wearing a strapless ivory dress and a tiara in front of over 400 guests. The event was documented in the 'The World's Heaviest Man Gets Married', which was broadcast in 2009. Uribe's second marriage was short-lived and ended, according to Uribe's mother, some three-and-a-half years before his death in 2014.
He passed away on 26 May 2014, aged 48, three weeks after getting hospitalised for several cardiac arrhythmias or abnormal heart beats among other health problems from liver failure.

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