There are many weight-loss success stories on TLC's "My 600-lb Life." Reality TV viewers follow the bariatric surgery patients on Facebook and await progress reports. One young man, Sean Milliken, is often asked about. Sean was the show heavyweight, weighing over 900 pounds by age 25. Sean's update aired recently and TLC and uncovered a shocking story of success and failure. After losing one third of himself, Sean is still bedridden. He's dying from obesity and one other surprise killer.

Sean Milliken drops 300 pounds

Weighing nearly a half ton, Sean sought bariatric surgery from Dr. Nowzaradan at the tender age of 25. Milliken wasn't just young in years -- he was, to quote one YouTube commenter "one of the most childish of all the immature people on 'My 600-lb Life'" In just a few short years past adolescence, Sean was bedridden, incapacitated and totally dependent, just like an old man.


Sean lost weight to get gastric bypass surgery, and shed a total of 300 pounds. After this weight-loss, the reality television show patient should be moving around. But Sean claims he can't (it hurts) and so he doesn't and Mom doesn't make him.

Why is Sean Milliken dying after weight-loss?

Three words -- obesity, immobility and caregiving -- are killing Sean. At 600 pounds, Sean's still morbidly obese. But he should be able to get out of bed, move around and walk, says Dr. Nowzaradan. Until he does that, Sean won't burn off the calories he's taking in. In his immoble state he'd have to almost starve himself to get any weight off. Another reality TV star, Mama June of "Honey Boo Boo" fame lost 300 pounds and she says she has more energy than she ever had. Physically, Sean could walk: other "My 600-lb Life" patients do at that weight.

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But Milliken is accustomed to being cared for. And moving is painful, lugging around 400 extra pounds. TLC shows that years after surgery, Sean still lays in bed, fed and enabled by mother.

Enabling, the silent killer behind obesity

The reality TV show mom is burned out from caring for her boy. She has to bathe Sean and clean up after he goes to the bathroom. Toileting consists of a pail hung from his bed into which he urinates. This bathroom setup isn't even legal or up to code, let alone hygenic or clean. Poor sanitation spreads infection to his bedsores. But mom doesn't want Sean moving because she's afraid he's ill. Renee doesn't care about weight gain or loss, only that her son doesn't hurt. Mom says she needs help. Dr. Now says she needs to stop enabling. On "My 600-lb Life," the bariatric surgeon chewed out Renee for "killing" her son with caregiving. So long as Sean remains bedridden, he'll keep getting bedsores and infections. Cellulitis or sepsis will develop and he will be in even more pain. It's a vicious cycle, but the only ones who can stop the merry-go-round are Sean and his mother.