Morbidly-obese man's YouTube plea answered

March 2, 2012 5:31:24 PM PST
A Bay Area man who turned 23 Friday is getting what may turn out to be a life-saving gift.

Robert Gibbs is morbidly obese. He posted a video to YouTube Thursday pleading for help. As of Friday evening, it was approaching 240,000 hits and Robert is getting exactly what he asked for.

"Hi, my name's Robert. I weigh about anywhere between 600 and 700 or more pounds," he said in the video. Gibbs wants just one thing for his 23rd birthday. "I'm just trying to get some help. Just trying to get some help," he said.

The Livermore man's video was a direct and desperate plea. In the first 24 hours, it received 200,000 hits. Also, phone calls and emails, some of them offers of help, have been pouring in. "I didn't think it would get the response that it's gotten. It's blown up in a day. I couldn't ask for a better birthday present," he said.

Gibbs has been heavy since he was a child. He was 4-years-old when he first started gaining weight. By 8, he topped150 pounds and kept putting it on from there. And, though he has always loved sports, as his weight increased, he became less active and more sedentary. "It's like being trapped in your own body because it feels like your body is working against you no matter what you do," he said.

"I want him to grow old. I want him to not worry about living and just live," his mom Nanette Alves said when asked what she wanted for her child. For Gibbs, just taking a few steps to the restroom is difficult and tiring. He has asthma and sleep apnea, and he says everything he has tried to lose weight has not worked. "I've been hospitalized twice," he said. "And, I lost weight both times I was in there but when I came home I gained it all back."

At one point in his video, Gibbs said, "I'm really scared that I'm not going to be able to watch my niece and nephew grow up." After all he has been through, he says his newborn nephew and 4-year-old niece gave him the motivation to post his plea on YouTube. "This birthday, I'm hoping it's going to be better than the rest of them because I finally asked for help and I'm getting it," he told ABC7.


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