Obese man recalls humiliating hospital visit

Only able to take a few steps before he's out of breath, 29-year-old Toran Stone of Detroit says he knows he's obese and understands when people stare, but that doesn't justify how he was treated.

"I don't care if you are 1,000 pounds, 50 pounds -- nobody deserves to be treated like a dog," he said.

Stone says that's exactly how he was treated at a Garden City hospital on Monday.

He says he has a long history of health issues -- from problems with his thyroid to now problems with his weight, and he had to go to the hospital Monday morning for a hernia.

"I deal with a lot of anxiety … I'm morbidly obese, I'm 680 pounds -- dealing with that is just terrible," he said.

Stone says when he arrived to the hospital the embarrassment began with the receptionist.

"They called me a fat bastard -- one of the people behind the desk," he said.

Stone says doctors and nurses loudly discussed his medical problems in public, some recording him with their phones.

After his exam, they put him in a wheel chair not meant for people his size. They then told him he needed to find a way home, calling police and telling Stone he was trespassing.

Stone says the humiliation continued.

"(The police) officer said, 'Well, you can't walk but I bet you can walk to the vending machine,'" he said.
That's when the hospital offered to give him a ride in an ambulance to jail.

"Now y'all are willing to get a private ambulance to take me to jail but not get me home -- all I'm asking is to get home," he said.

He says he felt so low he wanted to kill himself.

"It just made me feel like giving up; not trying anymore," he said.

A nurse working the night shift spotted him and arranged a ride for him -- 12 hours after he'd arrived. He said someone walked up to him and said it was ridiculous how he was being treated.

Due to federal law, Garden City hospital officials say they cannot confirm or deny Stone was ever treated at the facility. But they do say all patients are treated with compassionate care and they're looking into the matter.

Stone, who is planning to get bariatric surgery, says he doesn't believe much will be done at this point.

"I didn't get this way overnight so I'm not going to be able to lose it overnight," he said.

Stone says he hopes his experience brings a little understanding, telling others out there going through what he is to keep their heads held high.

"It shouldn't happen -- a person shouldn't have to experience that because regardless of how much you weigh ... you're still a human being," he said.