TLC viewers bore witness to a great deal of heartbreak on Tuesday night.
The latest episode of 1000-Lb. Sisters featured Tammy Slaton speaking via FaceTime to her husband, Caleb Willingham.
The former was home after a 14-month stint at rehab, while the latter remained in this same rehab facility.
And he wasn’t doing well.
“m”My weigh in was 537 — and it’s not the worst part of the conversation,” Caleb told Tammy on the episode, adding on air:
“The trach is going to have to stay in.”
For her part, Slaton had shed hundreds of pounds over the previous year-plus, even qualifying for gastric bypass surgery in the process.
She no longer was using an oxygen tank regularly and she no longer needed the type of tube referenced above.
Hence, Tammy’s disappointment over the medical state of her spouse.
“It sucks,” she said in a confessional.
“I was hoping [the doctor] would tell Caleb he’s lost enough weight to have surgery and get his trach removed. It bothers me that he’s backsliding.
“But Caleb’s very sensitive, so I feel like I can’t say anything. I feel like I have to be strong for him.”
As fans know well by now, Caleb died in late June at the young age of 40… meaning this season was filmed long before this tragedy took place.
No cause of death was ever given, but insiders said back then he had been backsliding in his weight loss journey and was stuck in the same rehab center where he met Tammy at the time of his passing.
This latest installment basically confirms these earlier reports.
On this episode, Slaton went on to recall their prior conversations about how they would each tackle their health issues.
“We know this wasn’t going to be easy on either one of us,” she told Caleb.
“And that’s one thing I asked you to do, was to promise that you weren’t going to sit in your room all day long. I wanted you to go hang out with the boys, to keep your mind preoccupied, you know?”
To his credit, Caleb was honest about his struggles.
“I eat my freaking feelings,” he told his wife.
After shooting down a suggestion from Tammy that he try to distract himself via a hobby such as playing video games, Caleb said:
“I want my wife. I just miss you.”
It’s just so very sad to watch all of this, knowing Caleb’s fate.
“Even though I’m not in love with him, I will always love him and I miss him every day,” Tammy said via TikTok on November 21. “Things will get better.”
“I am worried about Caleb,” Slaton said in another confessional on Tuesday before growing emotional.
“I think he’ll let the depression set in before he hits rock bottom again and gets determined to come home. I feel guilty.
“I’m numb, I don’t know how to feel — overwhelmed, stressed out, just everything…
“I’m being strong for Caleb, Amy, the kids. If I crumble right now, the whole world will go to hell. More than it already is.”
1000-Lb. Sisters airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on TLC.