While a typical adult is expected to consume between 1,500 and 2,000 calories a day, Mayra was taking in almost 18,000. She would eat up to four full-sized cakes every day — and that was just for dessert!
For almost five years she was unable to leave her bed. It was simply too difficult to stand up. She suffered from horrible lymphedema in her legs, a painful swelling condition caused by fluid retention. Without the help of her husband, even the most simple of tasks were a struggle for Mayra.
At the point that these pictures were taken, Mayra Rosales was the heaviest woman in the world. But she was about to become known for something equally out of the ordinary.
Mayra's two-year-old nephew, Eliseo Rosales Jr., was brought to the emergency room with difficulty breathing and a serious head injury from which sadly he did not recover. Arrested on suspicion of murder, Mayra gave a confession, claiming she had accidentally fallen on him. As prosecutors and her own attorney soon discovered, this wasn't the case. Rather, during her trial, it came to light that Mayra's sister, Jamie Lee Rosales, had beaten the child with a hairbrush, causing the blunt force trauma that ended his life. Thinking she didn't have much longer to live, Mayra had given a false confession in order to protect her sister. Once the truth came out, Jamie Lee Rosales was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
This led to a remarkable change of circumstance for Mayra. She wanted to be there for her sister's other children, so it was essential that Mayra take action to address her weight problem. If she did not do something drastic, her chances of survival were slim.
In addition to gastric band surgery, Mayra underwent various lifesaving operations. These were critical since her body had suffered for years under extreme obesity. She lost over 200 pounds of water weight alone when she was treated for her lymphedema.
Following recovery from her surgeries, Mayra embarked on a serious regimen of diet and exercise. Her motivation: her nieces and nephews. “These children are the reason why I am still alive,” Mayra said. “They are the reason why I want to lose even more weight.” And indeed, they were the first to see the once half-ton woman stand on her own two feet again. Their faces beamed with joy as their aunt was able to walk again.
At approximately 200 pounds, you would never believe that this is the same woman as at the beginning of the story.
Mayra's over 800 pound weight loss has led her to a brand-new appreciation for life. She's changed not only her appearance, but her health has also seen a dramatic improvement and her entire attitude to food has changed. "Food to me is I have to eat to live," Mayra said. "Before it was living to eat, and now you know, it's just something normal."