Michael Hebranko, and his wife Madelaine Hebranko, at the Brookhaven Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, a home that treats morbidly obese patients, in Far Rockaway, New York on August 1, 2012.
Michael Hebranko is an American man suffering from an extreme case of morbid obesity, known to be among the heaviest people in the world. Michael was born in Brooklyn in 1954. At the age of 16 his weight was 353 pounds. In 1990, he was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest recorded weight loss. He dropped his weight from 906 pounds to 200 pounds in 19 months with the help of the dieting and exercise coach Richard Simmons. But then he gained most of the weight back again and in June 1999, Hebranko was at his peak weight of 1,100 pounds. Over the past years, he had to be repeatedly hospitalized and today he weighs 550 pounds and is battling for his life. He says: “I'm a food addict, and like any alcoholic who has their first drink, or heroin addict who first injects, I fell off the wagon.”
Michael Hebranko died on July 25, 2013. He was an advocate for the obese and founded OPIN, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching and helping people that suffered from obesity and also educating the public on this condition. His whole life he battled with obesity. Photo by Bénédicte Desrus