The husband of the 500-pound Warren woman found in filthy, bug-infested conditions Tuesday says he tried to take adequate care of her.
The man asked that his name not be used to protect his children. The couple has a 13-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter and 2-year-old twins.
With tears running down his face, the man sat on his sister’s stoop a few porches away from his now-sealed Warren apartment. The family’s belongings are locked inside.
"I love her and it was hard, and it was just me," he said. "And I just did the best I could for so long."
His 41-year-old wife is in serious but stable condition hospitalized at St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital, where she is expected to remain until at least tomorrow, according to police.
Her sister-in-law, who also asked not to be named, said the woman’s pelvis was crushed in a hit-and-run accident in Detroit in 2011.
"She’s been in bed ever since," she said, tears welling up in her eyes. She also said she and her brother tried their best to care for her. But she’d tell them "later, later" when they tried to help her.
Police spoke to the couple’s children, who are staying with their aunt, Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green said.
Green said that the woman was hospitalized a couple of months ago, and police will review her medical records. He said the case could be presented to prosecutors next week. “Obviously, there was a failure somewhere for this lady to get the care that she needed,” Green said.
Her husband called 911 for help at their apartment off Gloede near 12 Mile Road just after noon Tuesday, according to investigators.
Warren Fire Commissioner Skip McAdams said firefighters had to wear biohazard suits and removed the doorwall of the apartment in order to remove the woman. McAdams said there were bugs and fecal matter throughout the apartment. Green said the woman had sores on her body.
Steven Gold, head of the Macomb County Health Department, said there are few services for caretakers of patients without health care coverage through employment, Medicare or specialized circumstances that provide access to Medicaid.
“Individuals in Macomb County are welcome to call the Health Department” for help finding resources, he said.
Dr. Bilal Kharbutli, a surgeon at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital who performs bariatric surgery on about 50 patients annually, said a bedridden patient could gain between 150 and 200 pounds in a year, but not all become morbidly obese.