By Calvin Palmer
Firefighters and EMS personnel had to dismantle the chair of an obese South Carolina man after he became literally welded to the recliner in which he had spent the past seven months.
Claude Daniel Tillman Webb, 33, of Greenwood, hurt his knee in March and was sent home from hospital because he did not have insurance.
On returning home by ambulance, he was placed in the reclining chair and had remained there ever since.
His wife said she had been unable to move him but she did her best to keep him clean.
Webb had called his mother yesterday and told him that he was in pain and needed help.
EMS personnel were unable to remove him from the chair because he was stuck to it. The chair was dismantled. A hole had to be cut in the couple’s mobile home about 70 miles west of Columbia in order to get him out.
A police report said he weighed about 800 pounds, but his wife said he was closer to 500 pounds.
Webb was transported to Self Regional Healthcare and taken into protective custody. But a few hourslater he died. His wife said the hospital told her he died from a heart attack.
Webb’s body was covered with sores and he had been urinating and defecating on himself, according to a police report.
His wife, Ada, said her husband slept and used the bathroom in his chair and she cleaned it every day. The former preacher would post sermons online from the chair, and it wasn’t long before he decided he was ready to go home to the Lord, she said.
“After he sat there in that one spot for a week, he was embarrassed. It was like he already knew what was going to happen,” she said.
Webb died on the couple’s second anniversary. They met four years ago on MySpace, and Ada said she did not see a man who weighed more than 500 pounds, but instead saw a guy who loved the Lord and had a big heart.
“I had the worst anniversary yesterday I ever had, but I know he had the best one he ever had because he’s with Jesus now,” she said.
Daniel Webb drove school buses for nearly 15 years, until his weight made it impossible. His health kept getting worse, and Ada Webb said she begged hospital officials to keep him after doctors treated his knee injury in March. But the couple had no way to pay and were sent home.
For his first few weeks home, Daniel Webb was open to the idea of seeing someone. Getting to them was the problem.
“Everybody kept telling us, if you get here, we’ll help you. We didn’t have no way of getting him up, and nobody was willing to come help us,” Ada Webb said. “He just kind of said, ‘it’s in God’s hands’ at that point.”
Daniel Webb spent the rest of his days playing with his four dogs and talking about religion to other people on the Internet.
“I did all I could for him. He loved me with a passion,” his wife said. “The only reason he held on to life here was for his family because he wanted to go home and be with the Lord.”
At this time, Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office has not filed charges.