Manuel Uribe (formerly World’s Heaviest Man and HERO) dies at age 48

May 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

So I read today in the news that Manuel Uribe, formerly the worlds heaviest man, has died at age 48.

And that got me to thinking

Because we want to be known for things in life

We want to be remembered

For kindness perhaps

For some talent

For making a difference

But for being heavy?

For being the worlds heaviest man or woman?

Probably not

When I googled images of Manuel

Mostly unflattering pictures came up

Pictures of him confined to the bed

Without clothing but instead covered by a bed sheet

Presumably because there were no clothes that fit

And I thought to myself that this probably isn’t how he would want to be remembered either

For the mere shock of his size

So I’d like to share with you how I will remember Manuel Uribe

Because I see him in a different light

I see him as a hero

For years, Manuel lived in a prison of his own body

He was depressed beyond what most people could even imagine

His wife left him and he contemplated suicide

But Manuel found hope

And he chose to believe that he could find a way out

That he could do more than just give up

He began to search for answers

He began to fight

And he lost over 500 pounds

“It’s a miracle I’ve got this far,” Manuel admitted to Reuters. “I was going to kill myself two years ago when my wife left me, but God sent me excellent doctors.”

Manuel also said that he found hope in God

And that he wanted to use the difficulties he had been through in the fight against obesity

To tell people about the hope that God had given Him so others would know of His Love

Manuel knew he was in a battle for his life

And instead of giving up

He fought hard like a warrior

Manuel inspired me and he inspired many others

Because he never gave up

He never quit

He fought right up until the end

I don’t know what the cause of death is for Manuel

But I do know that he was taken by a crane to the hospital earlier in the month for an abnormal heartbeat

I am going to assume that he most likely died due to the complications of obesity

So what does that mean?

Does that mean he lost the war?

Is that what it means??

Because in the end, obesity claimed him?

Well NO….not to me

Not at all

Manuel fought the good fight

That’s what he did

The odds were stacked against him

But he fought anyway

And he won MANY battles along the way

He wanted to kill himself…but he didn’t

He overcame that

He thought he could never lose a pound

But he lost over 500

He even inspired a ton of people all over the world!

Life isn’t perfect

It doesn’t always turn out the way we hope

Wouldn’t it be great if we could say Manuel had lost all his weight and won the war?

Wouldn’t that just be the fairytale?

But we need to look at the big picture

We need to wake up and see the whole canvas as it really appears

We are told to run the good race

And to never give up

That’s what he did

No one can ever say he QUIT

Because he didn’t

In war, many heroes will fall

That’s reality

That’s what makes this war REAL

For some it might be about looking good in a pair of pants

But for many

IT’S WAR

IT’S LIFE OR DEATH

And that’s the battle I’m fighting

So to me—He is a hero

A warrior fallen in the battlefield

Who fought the good fight to the bitter end

Let’s remember Manuel for the choices he made

And the inspiration he gave to many

Not for being the world’s heaviest man

But for being a man who believed in hope

Who stepped out in faith

And who, having fought the good fight here on earth

Now gets to live free from the chains that once bound him

No more sadness, no more tears

Only freedom

So what shall we take from the life he lived??

Well how about this….

Our days are not guaranteed

Our life on earth is not going to last forever

So while we are here….let’s give it our best shot!!

Let’s choose hope over defeat

Let’s choose to fight and not quit

Then let’s go for it with everything we have

Until the day we are called home

Thank you Manuel for the inspiration and the hope

You are a true hero

And today you live free!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie May 26, 2014 at 11:53 pm

He has a nice face. Open and friendly.
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Vicki W May 26, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Thanks for bringing us the information about Manuel Uribe. What a beautiful man he was, inside & out. Most of all Holly, thank you for your perspective on him, which is what I was thinking about before I even read this: My “perspective”. I get so down on myself for being obese & alone. But I have to change my thinking on this, forcing myself to look at how great I have it; to look at all the positives & blessings in my life. Seeing people like Manuel & yourself who have fought so hard to stay positive & keep fighting day after day; You are a true inspiration to all of us out here, feeling close to defeat but continuing to fight all the same. Thank you & God bless you.

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Hollee May 27, 2014 at 10:55 am

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this. You have such a positive outlook on things and I know that he would appreciate this, as well as any friends and family who knew him who might discover it.
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Anneli Byrd May 27, 2014 at 3:27 pm

What a beautiful tribute. You ought to look up his family and send this to them.

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Tracy aka My Tiny Tank May 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm

I sadly read this news this morning. My first thought having known his story was that he knew God and I was happy to know he was with him. I too thought Manuel was a hero. His story was about persistence. Never give up on your goal and find peace in your heart. That is how I will remember him. I love the picture you found of him!! thanks for a great post about this lovely man.
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Shay from Trashy Blog May 27, 2014 at 10:04 pm

What a beautiful tribute, Holly!
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Pam Holmes May 29, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Holly–I remember reading about people dying way too young back when I too was morbidly obese and realizing that they had died from complications of their obesity. That really scared me. When my oldest son was in middle school, one of the teacher assistants at his school died, at the young age of 29. I knew her personally, she was a family friend, and was morbidly obese. I heard from my mother that this young woman had taken over-the-counter cold medication, due to a severe cold, and realized in the night that she was having problems. They found her (she lived alone) collapsed on the floor, near the phone. After that time, I never again took cold medication except for the kind that was made for people with high blood pressure. I was in my mid 30’s, and realized THAT could have been me.
When I heard Israel Kamakawiwo’ole sing his rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k I immediately fell in love with his version of this beautiful song. When I looked him up on-line, I was shocked to see he had died at the very young age of 38, and it was obvious from the pictures on his site, that he was morbidly obese. I knew then what he most likely had died from.
I am a huge fan of our local newspaper’s “Celebrate” section in the Sunday edition. It showcases people celebrating momentous occasions in their life, and I started to notice that people celebrating 50th wedding anniversaries, or 80th or 90th birthdays were always, always thin. There were no overweight people in those pictures. I realized my chances of celebrating those occasions, at 328 pounds, were probably minimal.
And still it took me many years to embark on my own journey to get healthy, back in late 2009. Even today, knowing what my weight was doing to me, health wise, that I was literally shortening my life, I’m struggling with maintenance. That’s how strong food addiction is–we see our future–everywhere. Limited mobility, health problems, premature death, and yet we eat the food that is literally killing us. Today I still look on the deaths of people from obesity complications as very sad, but perhaps not quite as scary as it once was, since I have mended my ways. However, I am certainly not a role model for anyone, and struggle every single day trying to stay “mended.”
Great tribute to Manuel Uribe.
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MissyGirl June 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm

I too am grateful that you wrote this post. I weighed 555 pounds. I now weigh 300 pounds. I felt defeated in many ways until I read a book that the preface was simple:

Vulneratus non victus…Wounded But not conquered.

Manuel was wounded but not conquered and neither are we.

Missy

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