TLC’s My 600-lb. Life chronicles the lives of morbidly obese people, and the stories aren’t always happy. Former star Robert Buchel experienced a very tragic ending while filming. The Forked River, NJ native passed away on Nov. 15, 2017, and his fiancée, Kathryn Lemanski, has been struggling in the aftermath.
Within a five-month span, the TLC star was able to lose 340 of his 840 pounds, Starcasm reports. However, along the way, he developed an addiction to pain pills after he underwent lymphedema excision (a type of surgical treatment where “excess fat is removed,” according to Northwell Health). He ended up suffering a massive heart attack and passed away at 41 years old. His episode didn’t air on TLC until Feb. 28, 2018.
His fiancée has had a rough year of mourning and getting harassed by fans. “I’m surviving most of the time, that’s what it comes down to, in all honesty,” she told App. “I have had not an easy year. It was hard enough, but people saw an edited version of the show due to time constraints that omitted a lot of things that were going on outside of that.”
She continued, “75 to 80 percent of the feedback I got was positive…It was a wake-up call for quite a few of them, so they were letting me know.”
However, internet trolls bombarded Kathryn with some disturbing things. “I’ve gotten more [penis] pics in my Facebook than the porn industry, I’m not kidding,” she admitted. “People have put my profile into multi-racial dating groups, homosexual dating groups, S&M dating groups. I mean, I got people including me in groups I didn’t know even existed but somebody did it and I have to deal with that. I do a lot of blocking.”
Unfortunately, people placed blame on Kathyrn for Robert’s death. “People wrote straight up that I’m a murderer and it was my fault that he’s dead and my fault that he got the way he was, and I have to deal with that…The story is so much more complex, and intricate than the show let on.” She added, “A food addict acts the same way as a drug addict.”
Sadly, Kathryn is still figuring out life without her guy. “I’ve been with him since 19…Not only did I lose him but I had no idea how to start over.”