My 600-lb Life on TLC features one of this season’s most tragic stories tonight — as we follow morbidly obese Erica Wall on her journey to try and undergo weight-loss surgery.
The 44-year-old lives alone in Lompoc, CA, and has a food addiction that is so out of control it frightens her family.
Erica is dangerously obese, clocking in at 661-lb. In the episode we learn that she has no self-control when it comes to eating treats and comfort foods — which she says is her coping mechanism when it comes to dealing with daily life.
Her backstory is similar to others in this series and she lays blame for her overeating on the way she was brought up. The eldest daughter of three, she was indulged at every turn and then teased about her weight as the pounds piled up.
A no-win situation saw her own father teasing her mercilessly, telling her when she was 16 that she needed to have her stomach stapled. At that point, Erica was only 300-lb.
She wound up doing just that and then in five years after having the surgery, she literally blew out her staple line as her weight ballooned.
By the time she was 30 she was at 375-lb. At 42, her mother had a lethal car wreck winding up on life support. Erica was too large to go to her bedside and bid her a proper goodbye. This set off a spiral of eating that saw Erica add 200-lb over the next two years.
Now she has turned to weight-loss surgeon Dr. Nowzaradan, but she has burned her family so much with false promises of losing weight that they refuse to take her to Houston, Texas, to seek further treatment. Only her brother-in-law will do it.
In our exclusive clip below, we see Erica taken to the airport in a wheelchair where she has to to purchase an entire row of seats to get aboard the plane.
Noting all the stares and gasps as she is wheeled into the gate, she says: “I know the risk I am taking right now, I’m doing this so I have a chance to live but now that I’m here it’s so much scarier.
“I feel like everyone is watching me and it’s so embarrassing. How did I get to this point like I’m a sideshow to people?”
She adds: “I can’t even fit on a plane, they made me buy a whole aisle of three seats on the plane. That alone is humiliating, I’m just so happy that I fit.”
My 600-lb Life airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on TLC.