My 600-lb Life tells the story of Karina. She’s the oldest of three kids. She and her sister are only 10 months apart but they didn’t spend much time together as kids because Karina was very sick as a child. Karina was in and out of the hospital with asthma attacks “and I was in the oxygen tank most of the time,” says Karina. Around the age of 6, her asthma was under control “but my illness took a financial toll on my family,” she says. Her mother had to work two jobs while her father, who was in the military, was often away from home. She went from having all the attention of the family (in the hospital) to feeling like she had none. “I wanted a hug but they were too busy to give it. So food was my hug.”
My 600-lb Life interviews Karina’s parents, Ezequiel and Maria, who “feel a lot of guilt” but they had to work to provide for their children. Karina’s mother Maria cries and says (translated from Spanish): “I don’t think I was there to take care of them better.” She adds, “Perhaps if I had been there she (Karina) wouldn’t have gotten to this state.” On My 600-lb Life, at their weekly family dinner, Karina announces that she’s found a doctor in Houston (Dr. Now) who might be able to perform gastric bypass surgery for her. Her father says okay, and that they’ll figure out a way to get her to Houston. While no one at the time is jumping up and down in excitement, Karina says she’s disappointed with their less than enthusiastic reaction. Keep in mind: the family paid for Karina’s previous gastric balloon surgery which didn’t work. As Karina’s sister Marisabel explains, while she would be happy if her sister found someone who could really help her, “We’ve tried so much and for so long to help her with her eating habits that I’m just done trying.” My 600-lb Life airs Wednesdays at 8pm on TLC.