Extreme obesity is nothing to joke about, and people are learning more and more about the dangers of over-eating. Shows like My 600lb Life have opened the eyes of many people who otherwise may not have known the struggles these people are dealing with.
Though Mayra Rosales may not have appeared on that show, she still made headlines after her show Half-Ton Killer aired on television. People were fascinated with her weight, which at the time was 1,000lbs, and her murder accusation.
Yep, you read that right. Rosales was accused of murder and was on trial, where she could have faced the death penalty.
So how did she end up there?
In 2008, Mayra Rosales's nephew, Eliseo, was found dead. He was just two years old at the time, and it was clear he had been murdered. Rosales confessed to the murder, saying she had accidentally rolled over on top of him on her bed and crushed him. Considering she weighed 1,000lbs, the story was not totally impossible.
"I used to take up a whole king-size bed," she said. "I couldn't even stand up on my feet. My legs couldn't hold my weight."
Rosales was charged with capital murder, and she earned the nickname "half-ton killer." Her case was well-publicized, as her size made everything more magnified. She was so large that she had to be cut out of her home to attend court, and the only way to transport her was in a moving van. Knowing that they couldn't transport her every day, Rosales's attorney bought a king-size mattress for his client to live on inside the courtroom.
Even though Rosales confessed to the murder, she was still on trial for the crime, where a jury would decide whether or not she was to receive the death penalty. Despite the confession, however, Rosales's attorney never believed she killed her nephew. The trial was ongoing for months, and it wasn't until autopsy results revealed Eliseo's cause of death that the prosecution also started to doubt the "half-ton killer's" confession.
Autopsy results showed that Eliseo didn't die from suffocation or being crushed, but rather from head trauma consistent with repeated abuse. Finally, Rosales confessed that she was lying to cover for her sister Jamie, the boy's mother.
"I tried to protect my sister, and I was already dying so I didn't see ... like I was doing [something] wrong," Rosales said. "I was already giving up in life, and the way I saw it, when they began saying I was going to get capital murder charges, I really saw it like they were doing me a favor."
All the charges against Rosales were dropped, and her sister Jamie was sentenced to 15 years in prison on child abuse charges.
"I knew I was not doing right, but I was willing to give up my life for her," Rosales said.
Rosales also said she changed her mind when she saw Jamie abusing her other kids. Though she didn't want her nieces and nephews to grow up without a mom, she knew this couldn't continue.
Once everything was said and done, Rosales realized she needed to make a change in her life. She contacted Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, a world-renowned bariatric surgeon, in an attempt to lose the weight. Dr. Now, as his patients call him, could see the drive in Rosales to lose the weight.
"Once you're in bed for several years, she had no life," he said. "Once she get up and walk and do things, you'll be amazed how motivated people become."
Rosales worked around the clock to lose the weight. In her first five days, she dropped 100lbs. She underwent a dozen surgeries to remove tumors and skin, in order to make her an eligible candidate for gastric bypass surgery. Rosales needed to lose 600lbs before that could happen, and she used a high-protein diet to get there.
Now, after losing 800lbs, Rosales is living a completely different life.
The New and Improved Mayra
Mayra Rosales now weighs just 200lbs, and looks like a totally different person!
"A lot of it is the diet," she said in an interview. "I'm eating healthy food. Everything is measured by a dietitian."
Before her weight loss, Rosales's organs were shutting down, but she now says they're "perfect."
"I think it's a miracle of God that I'm healthy," she says. "I'm alive, and I'm not diabetic. I do not have cholesterol [problems]. I don't have high blood pressure, so I'm healthy."
Her nieces and nephews were her motivation throughout the whole thing, and she sees them often. Currently, Rosales is fighting to get custody of Jamie's three children.
"They were first to know when I was able to stand up for the first time, and then when they saw me walking, they saw me walk in the door, they were very excited," Rosales says. "They are my motivation."
As for Jamie, Rosales says her sister was just troubled and absolutely regrets killing her son.
"It's hard for someone to admit what they did, especially to their kid, and turn themselves in and confess, and she ended up doing it," Rosales said. "I think she did it because she couldn't live with herself no more, with what happened, and because she knew I was covering for her."
It's clear that Mayra Rosales has completely changed her life, and will surely treat her niece and nephews as her own.