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R. Robles, 54, 'Trapped' in Huge Body, Dies

May 22, 1987|From United Press International

Raymond Robles, the Santa Monica man who tried to find relief from the "jail cell" his huge body had become by having his stomach stapled and layers of fat carved off his arms and abdomen, died Thursday at Dominguez Valley Hospital in Compton.

Robles' death was attributed to liver problems induced by alcohol, not his obesity, according to a spokeswoman for his doctor.

When he underwent radical weight-reduction surgery in March, Robles, 54, weighed 640 pounds. He had trimmed down about 80 pounds when he died at 11:30 a.m., Renee Miller, the spokeswoman said.

"It was liver failure. He had a history of cirrhosis. He was a confirmed alcoholic," Miller said.

Robles had been scheduled to leave the hospital Thursday, but those plans were scrapped Wednesday when he lapsed into a coma, Miller said. Robles also went into a coma for several days about three weeks ago, again when he was about to be released, Miller said.

Robles, virtually confined to his bed for several years by his huge mass, underwent surgery on March 6. His surgeon, Dr. Mal Fobi, said Robles had about a 50% chance of surviving the operation.

"His heart is weak, his liver is failing, fat is pressing against his lungs so that he has trouble breathing," Fobi said at the time.

Robles said before the surgery that he felt "trapped, like in a jail cell," due to his weight.

He said his weight problem started about 15 years ago when "I got some personal problems. Let's put it this way: I started drinking a lot."

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