Angie J, whose full name is Angela Marie Dunham-Johns, is the subject of tonight’s episode of My 600 Lb. Life. Angie, an Ohio native, is attempting to travel to Houston to seek out the help of celebrity bariatric surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, most commonly known as Dr. Now, to try to shed some weight and get her health back on track. But will she qualify for Dr. Now’s operation? And even if she does, will she be able to make it to Houston?
The official TLC synopsis for tonight’s episode reads: “At over 600-lbs, Angie is trying to get to Houston to see Dr. Nowzaradan, in hope of getting weight loss surgery to save her life. But family conflict and disagreements may stop her from being able to do what she needs before she even gets the chance.”
“I wish I hadn’t let things get this bad,” Angie can be heard saying in the promo for tonight’s episode. “But they are. I sit on the sideline for everything.”
“I want to see her get better so she can have a life, and we can have a life together,” her husband Justin tells the cameras. The scene cuts to a bittersweet shot of the couple sitting on the bed while Justin rubs her leg.
According to the synopsis for tonight’s episode, Angie’s goal of making it to Houston to get her life-saving surgery from Dr. Now is hindered by issues with her family. Although the description doesn’t specify who Angie is disagreeing with, somebody in her family may be getting in the way of Angie’s goal to lose weight.
Angie recently started a GoFundMe account to help raise funds to help her relocate to Houston, although it looks like the has only raised $55 of the $1,200 goal so far. In the description, Angie wrote that she is trying to relocate to Texas to see Dr. Now, and that she needs help with expenses because she lives on a fixed income and can’t afford the trip on her own.
“I am almost 40 years old and I have been over weight almost all my life, and I’ve tried several different diets and diet fads with no avail,” she wrote. “And my weight being at almost 600lbs has left me almost bedridden and desperate to get this life saving surgery. Moving 1900 miles from where I’m from and lived my whole life, leaving behind my children and grand babies and friends and family is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to come to but I KNOW if I don’t go I will be leaving permanently in a coffin!”
She continued: “My health is rapidly deteriorating and I don’t really live anymore I just exist here day to day. I have missed so much life by being at this weight … My biggest fear is that if I don’t go I will die here in this prison I’ve created in my own bedroom.”
Angie’s last update was two months ago, letting fans know that she’d already lost 40 lbs and that she was just shy of her goal to reach Texas. “I only need about $400 that will help with what I am short of for the traveling and moving expense for me to get to Texas the end of this month! I recently weighed in [and] have lost 40 lbs on my own by following my diet instructed to me by the Dr. and it has gave [sic] me so much more confidence in this process!”
“I am so excited to see what I will be able to do with the surgery as a tool to use with my new eating habits and working out! after I have the bariatric surgery and lose a good amount of weight I will also be getting knee surgery to be able to get myself more mobile and get my life back! I haven’t had since 2011 And I truly can’t wait!!!!”
So where is Angie today? According to her Facebook profile, despite only having raised $55 of her fundraising goal, she appears to have made it to Houston, so whatever obstacles (financial or otherwise) she ran into on her way to Texas didn’t hold her back.
She hasn’t given fans any specific updates on her profile about her weight-loss journey, but she has posted a few pictures of herself with inspirational captions like “I get a little bit stronger,” and she shared a quote the other day that reads “Someone said ‘I don’t know how you do it,’ and I said ‘I wasn’t given a choice.'”
Tune in tonight to catch Angie’s story on My 600-lb Life, which airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on TLC.