Man once weighed more than 1,000 pounds
By Angie Landsverk
Tim Passehl lost more than 200 pounds over the course of the last two years, and he is not done yet.
“When I came here, I weighed a little over 770, and now I’m at 553.5,” he said. “I want to drop to 290 and then after that, have skin surgeries.”
The heaviest he knows he once weighed was 1,097 pounds.
The 32-year-old Clintonville native made dietary changes and did occupational and physical therapy while at Waupaca County’s Lakeview Manor, just outside of Weyauwega.
“I came here July 17, 2014. I feel really good. I’ve lost over 200 pounds,” said the 6-foot 4-inch Passehl. “Dietary has helped a lot. I know good carbs and bad carbs, good fiber and bad fiber. I eat lots of protein and veggies and fruits. I stay away from bread. I walk.”
After spending more than two years at Lakeview Manor, he left on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to move into an assisted living facility in Appleton, where he will continue to work on losing weight.
“Now I’m working faster. Here it’s been very, very good. They’ve been very supportive. I’m going to miss them very much,” he said.
In Appleton, Passehl will be closer to his physicians and be more independent.
Todd Greeneway, Lakeview Manor’s administrator, said many people do not realize Lakeview Manor is a place which offers both rehab and long-term care.
“The nursing home does not differentiate because of age,” he said. “The county always tries to work with the younger residents to get them in the least restrictive environment.”
Lakeview Manor offers occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, short-term stays, respite care, rehab and long-term stays.
Greeneway said the typical nursing home is able to treat people of a variety of ages.
“Generally, when a younger person comes in, it’s for short term,” he said.
In the case of Passehl, Lakeview Manor was an appropriate placement for him because he initially needed total care.
The staff was able to rehab him.
Due to his progress, he is ready for assisted living.
For Passehl, it was not his first long-term stay at Lakeview Manor.
Five years ago, Community Care helped him get into a rehab center in another part of the state.
He lost a lot of weight there and then went to Lakeview Manor.
“I didn’t want help,” he said.
When Passehl left Lakeview Manor, he weighed 556 pounds.
“I went home and gained it back. I went back to 800-some pounds,” he said.
Years earlier, Passehl turned to alcohol and then food following the death of his father.
“I lost my dad when I was about 21. I blame myself because I never went to see him, and he was always there for me. I became an alcoholic,” Passehl said. “It was rough. I couldn’t get over it. I never got to grieve with my own problems. I was trying to help my mom. I didn’t think about myself. I was trying to be there for her.”
Doctors told him he had to stop drinking or it would kill him.
By the time he was 23, he had cirrhosis of the liver.
Passehl immediately stopped drinking and has been sober since then.
But then he stayed home and ate instead.
“I kept gaining and gaining,” he said.
After losing weight at Lakeview Manor and then gaining it back, Passehl wanted to go back there.
“I talked to my social worker,” he said. “Community Care worked with Lakeview. I really wanted to come back here. I asked to come back here.”
Passehl liked the environment and support he received at Lakeview Manor.
Greeneway said Lakeview Manor’s staff embraced him.
“They encouraged him, gave him a sounding board when he needed it, support when he needed it,” he said. “A bond developed between him and the staff. I think with a younger person, they want to see him get on his feet.”
Passehl says he is not depressed anymore.
He believes he has changed and become a better person.
Passehl eventually wants to go back to school to study computer science and gaming design or maybe counseling.
He thinks he would be able to help and inspire others.
“Once you stick to it, you can do anything. You can’t tell somebody to do it. They have to want it,” Passehl said. “Instead motivate, guide and be there for them.