A half-ton man has died of heart failure despite a rescue attempt that saw his bedroom wall demolished so he could be taken to hospital on the back of a lorry. The 47-year-old from Juarez, northern Mexico, was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital. An enormous coffin had to be constructed and José Luis Garza's burial was delayed as cemetery workers enlarged the grave.
Gargantuan: Jose Luis Garza's specially dug grave dwarfs nieghbouring plots
Mr Garza, who weighed 70stone 10lb, had appealed on television for help tackling his weight problem - following the example of the world's fattest man, fellow Mexican Manuel Uribe of nearby Monterrey. Mr Garza said he had always struggled with his weight but fell into a cycle of depression and overeating nine months ago after his parents died within two weeks of each other. He had been bedridden for four months.
Terminally obese Garza had appealed for help on TV
Mr Garza's condition deteriorated over the weekend as he struggled to breathe and eat. Relatives criticised officials for failing to move him to a hospital before he became critically ill. 'If he had received support at the time he asked for it, he would still be with us,' said his brother Pedro. State officials argued there was little they could do.
Mr Garza's gigantic coffin is lowered into his grave
'The attention he would have received at a hospital would have been the same he received at home,' said a spokesman for the state health department. 'Moving a patient of that magnitude is very difficult.' About 150 friends and family waited for more than four hours at a cemetery while carpenters built a special coffin for Mr Garza's burial. 'The family wanted to cremate him but there wasn't an adequate oven for someone his size,' funeral home worker Maribel Cantu said. 'He is the biggest man we have buried.' Mr Garza's coffin arrived at the cemetery in a white van and 20 relatives and workers lowered it to the ground. Mr Uribe, whose record weight of 87stone 12lb earned him a place in the 2008 Guinness Book of Records, had tried to help Garza by sending him kiwis, grapefruit, pears and a protein supplement. Mr Uribe's fiancée, Claudia Solis, delivered the food on Friday evening.