It’s been a little over two years since a friend of mine from the BBW community met a tragic, untimely death. Most people from that subculture remember her simply as Big Cutie Cindy, but some of us remember her as much, much more. In short, Cindy G was a role model and inspiration to a great many of us, regardless of our size, sex, or age. Her free homepage (not to be confused with the Big Cuties) wasn’t just about looking at pictures of her in swimsuits and getting off…it was about a 550 lb woman who pushed aside pressures from a fat-hating society; who dared to live and love with little or no apologies. At that time, in the early days of the internet, very few women would have done the same, and very few men knew where to find such a woman or have the nerve to commit to one.
Her website, filled with blogs and pictures, had done our generation a great service. She was loved wherever she went, which is a rare thing in this subculture. Knowing this, and having been inspired by her examples, it’s not easy to believe in karma, because the years were not kind to Cindy. Her husband was unfaithful, and the depression that followed their separation had taken quite a toll on her spirit and health. In early April of 2009, a close friend of hers reported the sad news of her passing in Dimensions, but the cause of death was never shared…
…not until now.
Understandably, there had to have been people in Dimensions who immediately associated her death with obesity, seeing how Cindy was last seen at over 600 lbs and in a motorized wheel chair. Apparently, this was not exactly the case, but before I share any information, I must be clear on two things. First, the source of this information was so close to Cindy that it may as well have been Cindy herself who made me privy to it. Secondly, the true story behind her death may be too gruesome for those of you who were closer to her than I was. If that be the case, then please just close your browser window.
The problems started with marks/welts that were appearing and disappearing at random about her legs. Treatment began with anti-fungal creams and then antibiotics, neither of which worked. Her doctor began prescribing stronger antibiotics, and continued use (as per doctor’s orders) had made her very sick. Chronic diarrhea, dehydration, and a severe loss of appetite had caused a dramatic weight loss and weakened her considerably, and she finally chose to bypass her doctor and go to the hospital. Shortly after arrival and treatment, doctors determined that the rigorous courses of antibiotics had destroyed good bacteria in her body, hence her severe illness.
Cindy spent a few more weeks in that hospital, and it seemed that she was on the road to recovery, but another problem had come about. Cindy had lost weight, but her body was so weakened that she was unable to compete with the chronic diarrhea; she had to wear diapers and rely on nurses to clean and change her as needed. Unfortunately, Cindy was ashamed to call on nurses as frequently as she should have and the nurses themselves were not quick to respond. She sat in her own bowels on a regular basis, and as a result, her skin began to break down and develop painful sores. It took the help of a good friend to talk sense into her as well as the hospital staff, but by the time Cindy was properly cleaned and cared for, her breathing became labor intensive.
Hospital policy mandated that patients with breathing difficulties be transferred to Wing Hospital, where she was put on oxygen and left in a room. Two days later, her ex husband would be the first person to enter the room; no doctors had seen her since admittance. The wounds and sores she had been suffering from were now severely infected. 30 minutes after a blood work-up, Cindy was to be moved via helicopter to the ICU at UMass to be treated for severe sepsis. Mind you, this hospital is less than 45 minutes away, thus explaining just how much danger Cindy’s body was truly in.
Proper care was finally administered, but it was too late. Her kidneys were the first of her organs to fail, and Cindy was dead by the following day.
The rumor I had heard was that doctors weren’t caring for her properly, which turned out to be true, but not in the way most people assumed. Most people were under the impression that Cindy had become too large to care for, but this whole ordeal could have easily been avoided, and she was under 350 lbs on the day of her death; possibly less. So, contrary to popular belief, Cindy didn’t die from being fat, she died because of negligence on the part of wealthy professionals who we confide in to save lives.
It was hard for me to share this tonight. I was never particularly close with Cindy, but I always considered her as a friend and inspiration, and it’s difficult for me to digest this information and then decide whether or not to share it. However, I needed the closure; I needed to know how and why this happened. I’m sure I’m not alone, so if reading this has done the same for you, then I’m glad I could help.
But, like I said in Dimensions two years ago, remembering how she died is nowhere near as important as remembering how she lived. Remembering her energetic smile and the beauty of her soul, and how she touched so many lives just by living her own. Dimensions stopped appreciating that long before any of this ever happened, but I’d like to think that there are many like myself who prefer to honor her memory by following in her footsteps and daring to live our lives without apologies for who and what we are.
God bless you and keep you, Cindy G.