World's Heaviest Man Gets Second Chance at Life and Love

Manuel Uribe, who once weighed 1,234 pounds, got married in Mexico.

ByABC News
October 27, 2008, 9:40 AM

July 1, 2008 — -- Manuel Uribe, who held the Guinness World Records title of the Heaviest Man in the World, tied the knot with his longtime love Claudia Solis Oct. 26 in northern Mexico, in front of 400 guests.

After years of diet, exercise and medical care, Uribe, who once weighed more than 1,200 pounds, has lost more than 550 pounds. Last year he said he hoped to walk down the aisle at his wedding, but despite his dramatic weight loss, he was transported to the ceremony on a flatbed truck and remained in his custom-made bed, according to The Associated Press.

Uribe shed tears during the ceremony and embraced his 38-year-old bride for a "first dance" but didn't indulge in wedding cake.

"He didn't break his diet," Uribe's mother told the AP.

Tipping the scales at 1,234 pounds in 2006, Uribe didn't leave his bed or his apartment in Monterrey, Mexico, for years.

"I have a wife and will form a new family and live a happy life," Uribe, 43, told reporters before the ceremony, according to the AP.

Manuel Uribe's Morbid Obesity

"I had an obesity problem for many years, a very significant one. I was gaining and gaining weight. I was on every diet you can imagine," Uribe told ABC News' John Quiñones in January 2007.

"I used to eat normal, just like all Mexicans do beans, rice, flour tortilla, corn tortilla, French fries, hamburgers, subs and pizzas, whatever regular people eat. I worked as a technician, repairing typewriters, electronic calculators and computers. So I worked on a chair. It was a sedentary life," he said.

Uribe was beyond the kind of overweight that comes from fast food and lack of exercise. Doctors called it morbid obesity.

According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity means weighing 20 percent or more than your ideal body weight, and it's a health risk. Morbid obesity is altogether different. Sometimes called "clinically severe obesity," it means you're 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight, with a body mass index of 40 or higher.

Uribe didn't gain weight like the rest of us. Brain chemistry, genetic mutation, addiction, psychological pain -- or an unhappy combination of all of them -- makes morbid obesity one of the biggest mysteries of medicine.

Living in the same bed for years was difficult for Uribe, especially when it came to romance. Twenty years ago, when he weighed 280 pounds, Uribe was married. But as he grew more obese, he said the relationship grew increasingly difficult.

"She asked me for a divorce," he told Quiñones. " I was very depressed."

Uribe said he was so desperate that he even considered suicide.

"Everything ended on account of my obesity, because I spent a lot of money trying to see doctors, going on diets, and I just gained more weight."