Worlds Heaviest Man Beats Coronavirus But Loses Parents

Story By: Pol F, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash

A man declared the heaviest in the world in 2017 has beaten the coronavirus, but his parents who helped him lose more than half his weight so he was fit enough to fight COVID did not survive the disease.

Juan Pedro Franco comes from the state of Aguascalientes , located in the northern part of the Bajio region, in North-Central Mexico, and fought the virus until now after he was infected last month.

Franco, 36, said he managed to survive largely because although he used to weigh 595 kg (1312 lbs), with the support of his parents and especially his mother, he had managed to reduce it to his current 208 kg (459 lbs).


His weight loss also improved the situation with other health problems he has like diabetes, hypertension and obstructive pulmonary disease.

Franco, who was named the heaviest in the world in 2017, said: “Thanks to the surgery, God and the doctor who is helping me, I had the strength to endure the disease.”

He added that if he had been infected “in another circumstance” this “would not have ended well at all” in an interview carried out by InfoBae Mexico.


But Maria de Jesus Salas, his mother, died from the coronavirus shortly after his father, Herminio Franco, although the cause of death for his dad was not confirmed, only suspected as being the virus.

The recovering obese Guinness reord holder said: “The truth is the happiness at surviving is more than a little tinged with sadness because it’s been three months since my dad left us and then my mum. They both left me.”

Franco added: “I was I guess closer to my mother. She accompanied me everywhere, always, and during the procedure to recover from the coronavirus she did not separate herself from me at all.”


In November 2016, Franco underwent three surgeries: a sleeve, a bypass and a gastric band.

His surgeon Jose Antonio Castaneda said that these procedures were the key to Franco’s recovery from COVID-19.

Castaneda said that if the appearance of the virus had occurred prior to his weight loss treatment, Franco would not have survived.


He was locked up in his room for the duration of the illness. One of his brothers took responsibility for looking after him and the others kept in touch by phone.

Franco said: “I didn’t want them to get sick because we didn’t know how their body was going to react. In mine, it was not affecting me too much.”

He does not know how and where the family caught the virus or if he or his mother got infected first.


Despite the precautions they took, the contagion could have happened while going to the store or during a visit from a relative.

According to doctor Castaneda, Juan Pedro has antibodies for COVID-19, which means that his immune system reacted in an adequate way to eliminate the virus.

Mexico ranks first of the world in childhood obesity and second in adults.


According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Mexico has registered 710,049 cases of COVID-19 and 74,949 related deaths.

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