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What Really Happened To Sean Milliken After My 600-Lb Life

On TLC's hit medical reality series "My 600-lb Life," bariatric surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan treats patients struggling with morbid obesity. Desperate for help, the patients of "Dr. Now" head to his Houston, Texas, office in the hopes he'll accept them into his weight loss program and guide them toward a healthier, and longer, life. As fans of the series know, most patients on "My 600-lb Life" share two common traits: a childhood trauma, and a family member who has enabled their weight gain.

When 26-year-old Sean Milliken appeared in Season 4, he weighed 919 pounds, which at the time made him the heaviest patient in the show's history. His weight kept him largely confined to his bed and forced him to rely on his mother (with whom he lived) and a family friend to help him bathe. Sean's legs could no longer support his size, and he needed oxygen to assist his breathing. Let's revisit Sean's journey.

Sean Milliken's weight gain began as a child

At the start of his episode, Sean explained that his overeating began as a child in response to his father's alleged verbal abuse. Sean's mother, who also struggled with weight, admits that she indulged her young son's habits, often bringing him home a treat whenever she went out for groceries. When Sean was 10 years old, his parents divorced. As is common with children witnessing their parents separate, Sean felt responsible. Again, he turned to food for comfort. By the time Sean was in high school, he was over 400 pounds.

After a fall injured his ankle and leg during his senior year, Sean became bedbound and remained so for years. Unfortunately for Sean, his mother was a textbook enabler who gave in to her son's out-of-control appetite. Feeling sorry for her bedridden son, she gave him as much food as he needed to feel happy, which in turn added to his size, leading to his continued bedbound existence.

Dr. Now worried about the dynamic between Sean and his mother

With the help of family and friends, Sean traveled from California to Houston to see Dr. Now. Upon meeting Sean, Dr. Now was concerned with the severe swelling of Sean's left leg, as well as his seeming disinterest in changing his life. The doctor also saw the first hints of the unhealthy dynamic between mother and son. After their first consultation, Dr. Now gave Sean an 800-calorie-a-day meal plan and the goal of losing 100 pounds in two months.

When Sean returned to Dr. Now after two months, it was clear he failed to meet the goal. In fact, Dr. Now suspected that Sean may have gained between 50-100 pounds. Instead of sending Sean back home with his mother, Dr. Now admitted him to the hospital in order to monitor his diet. Upon Sean's arrival at the hospital, Dr. Now's suspicions were confirmed. Sean now weighed 1,003 pounds. After two months in the hospital, with a strictly controlled diet, Sean lost an amazing 259 pounds, at which point Dr. Now discharged him from the hospital.

Sean's weight losses were followed by weight gains

After just a month living with his mother again, Sean regained 43 pounds. In response, Dr. Now instructed both Sean and his mother to meet with a psychotherapist. The therapy seemed to help, because by the end of Month 7 Sean had managed to lose a total of 367 pounds — enough to qualify for weight loss surgery. By the end of Sean's "My 600-lb Life" episode, and after a successful gastric bypass surgery, Sean had lost 455 pounds.

Sean's journey continued on "Where Are They Now?" in 2017. Though Sean's weight loss was slowly progressing, the dynamic between him and his mother failed to improve. In Dr. Now's view, Sean's mother was preventing him from reaching his goals in a way that resembled Munchausen by proxy, in which a caregiver makes up illnesses or exacerbates an illness in order to keep a loved one under their care (via Healthline). When his mother brought Sean into the hospital for an "illness" and accused Dr. Now of not giving her son even basic care, Dr. Now confronted her, informing her that she was the "worst thing for [Sean]", that she was "harming him" and "killing him." While in the hospital, it was revealed that Sean had begun gaining again.

With few options available to him, Dr. Now made the decision to admit Sean back into the hospital for a month and restrict Sean's mother to once-a-week visits. Dropping 50 pounds in four weeks, Sean, who had begun to see how much he relied on his mother, was discharged. Not surprisingly, Sean regained that weight by his next doctor's appointment.

Sean's body could not take the strain of his weight

At the start of his third year in Dr. Now's program, Sean, now weighing 493 pounds, experienced tragedy with the death of his mother from renal failure. Dealing with the loss of his mother, Sean's weight increased and his overall health was dramatically deteriorating. Midway through his third year, Sean was back up to 668 pounds. A few months later, he weighed 709 pounds. After a two-month hospital stay, Sean dropped down to 489 pounds. With some reluctance, Dr. Now released him from the hospital. Within two months of his discharge and living on his own, Sean gained 278 pounds, putting his weight at 766 pounds. Once again, Dr. Now admitted Sean into the hospital.

Unfortunately, two weeks after returning to the hospital, Sean died from cardiac arrest resulting from an infection (via Metro). He was 29 years old at the time of his death. As Dr. Now stated, Sean's massive swings in weight gains and losses placed an incredible amount of stress on his system, which caused his heart to give out. To date, nine patients who appeared on "My 600-lb Life" have died.