Rosey entered our world three years ago, trapped in his Portsmouth home and unable to walk because of his weight. He weighed nearly half a ton.
His struggle inspired a local trainer and dietician to make house calls twice a week – they called themselves Team Rosey.
NewsChannel 3 collectively celebrated when Team Rosey made progress and helped him struggle to his feet and take his first steps in months.
But a medical setback would send him to Maryview Regional Medical Center – one that sounded an alarm. Rosey needed to lose the weight to save his life. Maryview made arrangements to send him to Eagle Point Nursing and Rehab Center in Ohio. It’s a facility that specializes in helping the morbidly obese.
Last February, Rosey was very optimistic about his future.
“I hope to accomplish a steady weight so when I can come back, I’ll be more fighting weight,” said White.
“I just want to get out there, so I can get down to a working, walking situation.”
NewsChannel 3 viewers sent him words of support and well wishes, hoping the support would help him reach his goal. He even got a pep talk from weight loss guru, Richard Simmons.
Earlier this month we learned from childhood friend, Curtis Ford, that Rosey was bullied as a child because of his weight.
“I think he started packing on the weight due to the criticism from not direct classmates, but people all around him in school,” said Ford.
Rosey started out knowing what he had to do to get past those childhood demons to lose the weight that threatened his life.
“It will be changing more than just education, I’ve got to change life, food and everything.”
Rosey tried for a while. He exercised from bed, he monitored hi diet. Last May, he lost nearly 100 pounds. But when NewsChannel 3 visited earlier this month, he had gained more weight, and lost his emotional edge: he had given up.
That’s when his body gave up and his organs began to fail. These were his last words to Barbara Ciara:
“You have been a friend to me since the beginning of my journey to lose weight, it’s better that you do not see me at the end. But know that you were a friend and thanks for all your help.”
The hospice worker, Laura Thomas, read viewers’ cards and letters to Rosey ten minutes before he died. He passed away knowing you were wishing him well.
Rosey admitted that he made mistakes, and waited too long to turn it around.
But he left this world hoping his story would help others by learning from his mistakes: obesity kills.
Rosey’s parents can’t claim Rosey’s remains because they cannot afford it. However, the hospice has established a fund to cover Rosey’s crematorium expenses.
If you would like to honor Rosey with a donation to the fund, make the check to:
Hospice of Western Reserve
17876 Saint Clair Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio, 44110-2602
Be sure to write ‘Roosevelt White Funeral Expenses’ in the memo line of your check.
Thank you for your thoughts and kind wishes for Rosey.