700 pound man searches for hospital that can take care of his needs
A local hospital is running out of options to care for a man who weighs more than 700 pounds.
James King has been stuck in a hospital room at Baptist Health in Paducah for almost a month. The 45 year old can't walk, and he's constantly in pain because he's 768 pounds.
"It's miserable. I feel like a prisoner in my own bed. That's what I feel like," King said.
"I want to get in the car and take my daughter shopping. Do normal things," he added.
He's had swelling in his feet and legs for the past 10 years, and a sprained ankle a year ago was the last straw.
"I just never did recover from that. Basically, I couldn't get out of bed," King said.
His girlfriend Lisa Raisor says it got so bad he needed help. "When I'd go home, I didn't know whether he would be alive or dead," Raisor said.
Baptist Health Paducah Director of Patient Relations Stacey Young says the hospital doesn't have the resources to continue caring for him.
"That really requires special equipment, so we immediately had to start finding beds," Young said.
The capacity of the largest bed is 550 pounds. The bed the hospital rented for King holds double that and is about a foot wider
"I got to keep moving forward. There can't be no going back. There's no way," King said.
With King ready to turn his life around, the hospital is doing everything it can to figure out where he can go next. It still hasn't found a hospital in the U.S. that can take care of him.
"If he goes home I'm sure he wouldn't last really long. We've got to find somewhere," Raisor said.
All King can do is stay hopeful. "I'm going to keep fighting," he said.
King needs to lose at least 150 pounds to qualify for bariatric surgery. He's doing as much exercise as he can, and doctors have him on a low calorie diet.
The hospital wants to help him until he has a place to go. It's all coming out of the hospital's pocket. King doesn't have a specific illness, so he's not eligible for insurance coverage.
King's family and Baptist Health Paducah are reaching out to everyone they can to find someone who knows of a hospital he can go to or resources available to him. If you have any ideas on how to help, you can contact Stacey Young at Baptist Health Paducah by calling 270-575-2848.