Incredibly enough, in spite of his enormous weight, Uribe told Quiñones that he was in good health.
"Yes, I have accumulated fat, but I'm healthy," he said. "I don't have sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, diabetes or high blood pressure. My heart works perfectly fine."
"We don't have an explanation," Gonzalez said. Uribe did not have high cholesterol or diabetes, and his blood pressure was normal.
He didn't want a gastric bypass and instead followed the Zone diet -- a moderate regime of carbs, protein and fat. No more rice and beans. Always by Uribe's side, his mother, Ofelia Uribe, prepared five meals a day.
"What do you want for your son?" Quiñones asked.
"That he can get up and walk," his hopeful mother said.
Uribe couldn't stand to weigh himself, so the government installed a large scale into his floor. A year after beginning his diet and exercise plan, Uribe made his first trip out of his room in five years. His bed was taken outside, just in front of his home. For Uribe, simply feeling the sunshine was a major accomplishment, the first of many.
As he worked to lose weight, Uribe tried to stay a part of the outside world, using the Internet to support others who are morbidly obese, but he mostly counted on donations to support himself. He said his relationship with Solis helped him to persevere.
"He's a person full of love," Solis said. "It's a privilege to know him because he truly is a divine person."
In March 2008, Uribe took a step toward his new life by planning a trip to the park with Solis. It was the first time he had traveled anywhere in seven years. His weight still leaves him bedridden, but he decided it would no longer stop him from rejoining the world.
A forklift loaded Uribe's bed onto a specially equipped flatbed truck, with a cover to shield him from the sun. Uribe's doctors were also along for the ride to make sure nothing went wrong medically.
As they made their journey, the couple were greeted like celebrites. The trip went well until the truck went through a tunnel. The cover meant to protect Uribe became an obstacle, and the truck became stuck. Uribe was rattled and the doctors found that his blood pressure was high. The date was over.
"The doctors are my doctors," Uribe said. "They're in charge of my health, and I have to listen to my doctors."
"I'm sad, but there's nothing we can do," Solis said. "We have to go back. What good would it do if he died there?"
At home, Uribe presented Solis with a birthday cake -- which he didn't eat. Uribe said he dreamed of taking care of Solis and her son, and one day being able to walk down the aisle.
"Very soon, I am very hopeful that I will be able to leave this bed," he said. "This year, I think."
Uribe, who celebrated his 43rd birthday on June 11, has one other wish: Instead of being known as the heaviest man in the world, he hopes to become known as a champion: the man who lost the most weight.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
For more information on this story and on morbid obesity:
Follow Manuel Uribe's progess and learn more about his diet at The Zone Diet