By Ben Wheeler
MEET the inspiring man who has lost an incredible five-hundred pounds in just three years after being told by doctors he had only three-months to live if he did not drastically change his lifestyle.
Images show 42-year-old Stanley Hollar from Rushville, Indiana, tipping the scales at a whopping 678 lbs prior to his dramatic transformation, which saw his weight plummet to a much healthier current weight of around 190 lbs.
Stanley, who says he has always had weight issues since childhood, had to have his leg amputated back in 1996 whilst in his sophomore year at Kentucky Christian College after sustaining a serious injury whilst keeping goal in an indoor soccer game.
“In February 2015, when I was at my heaviest and developing major medical issues and at the point of needing to change, the doctor said I needed to lose weight or I would be dead before my 40th birthday” said Stanley.
“Weight has always been an issue. I was large even as a young child, weighing nearly 100lbs when I was a five-year-old in kindergarten.
“It’s something I’ve lived with my whole life, but it was normal to me and not something I even really struggled with. My family tried to say something several times, but it was a lot of words and not a lot of actions.
“If you’d asked me prior to my weight loss how I felt about my body I would’ve told you I was fine and felt okay, but I can see now that I was just lying to myself. I was really miserable and just didn’t know any better.
Stanley went on to discuss the incident that led to him losing his lower right leg and the harrowing chain of events that ensued in its aftermath.
“I was playing as a goalie, albeit not very well, in an indoor soccer game on campus. The fact I was around 450lbs at the time made it hard to move so I thought being in goal was a good idea as it meant I got a little exercise,” he said.
“However, I went to stop a ball and was trying to stop myself but only my leg stopped, the rest of my body did not. I was in agony and if you were to ask how painful it was on a scale of one to ten I’d have said about 50.
“I went for x-rays at the local hospital who thought I had sprained my knee. The doctor had a cast brace made for me and wrapped my leg in bandages to immobilize it, but recommended I saw an orthopaedic doctor as soon as possible.
“The following day it was arranged for my parents to pick me up and drive me home. When they arrived we had to get me from my room to their van using office chairs, which it took four guys to help lift me into.
“Once we got back home it was the same process, however I couldn’t even fit through our front door sat in the office chair, so I had to be taken through the porch.
“Just to get me to hospital early the next week my mum had to rent a heavy-duty wheelchair and my dad then had to take the seats out the back of his van and back it right up to the porch so I could get in. He then had to round up a lift team to get me out again.
“When the doctors removed my cast, my leg was completely purple from the knee down. At the time he thought it was just an ACL injury and ordered physical therapy to try and recover mobility.
“Jump to Sunday night, my leg had started throbbing and was extremely painful, so I told my mum she needed to take me to the emergency room.
“Once there they checked both my legs with a stethoscope, they could hear a strong pulse on my left but on the right, silence.
“At that point we knew something was seriously wrong. I was rushed to surgery where they found the mess that was once my knee, I had shred all the ligaments and torn an artery.
“They tried to repair it, but the extent of the damage was so great that they were left with little option but to amputate.”
After adjusting to his new life as an amputee, Stanley graduated college with a B.S in Education and started working as a substitute teacher at his old school, where he still works to this day.
However, his weight problems continued up until that conversation with his doctor in February 2015.
“That did it. In the first year I shed 250lbs, half of which was through heavy diuretics where the doctors drained excess fluid and water and the other half was through regular light exercise,” said Stanley.
“I then had bariatric surgery which started another rapid weight loss, and through that and starting to go to the gym I lost the rest of the weight to get to my current size.
“I now work out five days a week and try and go on walks at the weekend. Even when it’s cold I improvise by doing laps round the table or through the house.
“My diet is also so much better. Whereas before I had the usual junk, takeaways, sugary snacks and drinks, I now have simple meals with some kind of protein with plenty of fruit and veg throughout the day.
“I feel so much better about my body now, but it is still in a state of change. I’ve come a long way in a short period of time but unfortunately now have excess skin everywhere.
“To be able to walk again I need to get the skin around my thigh area removed. And for my new leg to fit properly it needs to be skin tight, which is just not possible at the moment.
“God willing, I still have a very long life ahead of me.”
Stanley has set up a YouCaring page to help him pay for his excess skin removal, for more information see www.HelpStanleyWalk.com